Reading listed as investment hotspot

by Marco Cillario Thu 7 April 2016, 12:52 pm

Reading was included among the top 25 places in Europe for foreign direct investment (FDI) for the third consecutive time and scooped six prizes at the FDI European Cities of the Future Awards 2016/17 at global property conference MIPIM on 15 March.

In a bi-annual report produced by the Financial Times, Reading was ranked 21st, the third best-placed UK location, for FDI attractiveness. This is measured by the likelihood of a foreign organisation investing in production or business by either buying a company or by expanding operations in that country.

The Berkshire town had already been included among the top 25 cities in the 2012/13 and 2014/15 reports.

Reading was also named the second most business-friendly small city in Europe, based on the number and proportion of companies in high-tech and knowledge-based industries, jobs created by investment, ease of doing business and number of FT Global companies located.

Moreover, Reading was placed eighth among the “Northern European Cities of the Future”, seventh among the “Small European Cities of the Future”, ninth among the “Small European Cities of the Future for Economic Potential” and seventh among the “Small European Cities of the Future for Human Capital and Lifestyle”.

The awards were based on measures such as economic potential, labour force, education, lifestyle, connectivity, digital networks, business friendliness and cost effectiveness.

“These awards recognise Reading’s compelling offer to business and investors,” said Sue Brackley, economic development manager for Reading UK CIC, the economic development organisation which submitted Reading’s application to the 2016 Awards.

She named the “access to a workforce that is nearly 50% university-educated”, the “Grade A real estate options with two million sq ft [609,600sq m] of  offices being built around the new station, excellent transport connectivity and world-class research” as key factors in securing the awards.

She added: “Equally important for business is the vibrant urban environment, heritage and cultural scene and surrounding beautiful countryside, which makes Reading such an attractive place to live and work.”

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