by Marco Cillario Mon 9 November 2015, 4:15 pm
The fifth issue of Reading:UK magazine, published in October, was launched on 5 November at the first Reading Economic Forum. The event, which took place at Reading Town Hall, was attended by around 150 delegates and was sponsored by Landid/Brockton, M&G and Stanhope/Benson Elliot.
Infrastructure, public transport and housing were some of the themes discussed at the event, organised by 3Fox International. Key speakers included Nigel Horton-Baker executive director from Reading CIC, Reading Borough Council’s deputy leader, Tony Page, and Gordon Carey from Landid.
“We have the plans and we have the vision, but we now need serious investment in the town, not only in the offices but also in key infrastructure and affordable housing,” said Page. Addressing the investors and developers in the audience he added: “We need your help, money and ideas to deliver the housing that many of the employees that are being relocated to Reading will be looking for.”
Horton-Baker, of Reading UK CIC, which promotes the economic development of the town, talked about a number of the major developments taking place, and used the opportunity to announce the second phase of M&G’s Forbury Place development, which is a 17,187sq m speculative development.
Horton-Baker emphasised that: “Growth is about being sustainable; it is not about growth at all costs”. He concluded by referring to the proposal for a national convention centre in Reading, Royal Elm Park, unveiled by Reading Football Club’s property arm in October.
Gordon Carey of Landid talked about the reasons why the company decided to invest in Reading. He said: “It is the centre of the Thames Valley, it is incredibly well connected, it has a great environment, it has got shopping, a great town centre, a great countryside. It also has a good range of housing but I would support the whole concept of extending that.”
He also stressed the importance of Reading’s railway station, the investments in bus transport, the support in terms of cycling and the pedestrian area. He said: “Transport is absolutely one of the most essential things we are finding. In order to be able to attract the best talents to work within the companies, accessibility is key.”
View photos from the event below: