The town of Reading is popular with businesses looking for a permanent headquarters of size outside of London. Its rail links (approximately 28 minutes from Reading train station to Paddington) and proximity to the M4/M3 have singled it out as a destination of note.
The town’s biggest industries include ICT (knowledge-intensive business services make up 40% of all central Reading businesses, and the town is ranked 1st in the UK as a tech employment cluster, according to a KPMG report); business & financial/legal services; energy & renewable; bio-pharma & biotech; defence & cybernetics; retail, and transport & logistics.
“Reading is a hugely popular relocation destination,” comments Klippa Relocation’s Keir Jones. “The town is already home to 13 of the world’s top 30 brand global companies, and it was ranked 10th in the fDI European Cities & Regions of the Future 2014/15. We’re finding more businesses – from multinationals to tech startups – are choosing Reading, so there’s already great company and investment.”
Reading has a number of high-profile business parks, with purpose-built offices in close proximity to the town centre and the local motorway network. Green Park is the leading business destination – especially among the technology and communications industries. The many tenants include The Berkeley Group, Britannia Pharmaceuticals, Cisco Systems, HSBC, Huawei, PepsiCo, Thames Water and Texas Instruments Ltd. Green Park is such a comprehensive site that it offers a gym, language lessons, food markets and even a choir. Thames Valley Park is an equally as important business hub, with occupiers including Microsoft, Fujitsu, Shell and Oracle. Onsite is a nursery and a David Lloyd, plus a free shuttle bus from Reading train station. Elsewhere, Reading International Business Park is home to Verizon and other leading businesses.
While Reading is full-to-the-rafters with serviced offices, town-centre opportunities (office complexes include R+, The Blade, Thames Tower, One Valpy and Forbury Place, to name a few) and business parks, the corporate scene is complemented by an excellent domestic property and lifestyle infrastructure. “Reading Town Centre ranks within the top 20 retailing locations within the UK, and The Oracle Centre is a hub for retail, leisure and social facilities (including department stores, a 10 screen Vue cinema, and approximately 20 restaurants, cafes and bars). The state and private schools around Reading are superb, with Padworth College International School just outside the town providing independent day and boarding opportunities,” adds Keir.
Reading’s property scene is just as comprehensive as its business and leisure sectors. There’s town-centre living, new family-friendly developments on the edge of Reading (including Kennet Island, West Village and Tamesis Reach), and more traditional properties from the 19th century – red-brick terraces, 1930s bay fronted semis, and an array of Victorian and Edwardian villas. Suburbs within three miles of Reading town centre continue to find favour with families. Caversham Heights in Caversham and Tokers Green remain premium locations, with Sonning, Earley, Tilehurst and Calcot considered for their commuter aspects, semi-rural environs and larger family residences.
In terms of rents to pay, home.co.uk has the following average figures: one-bedroom properties at £850 per calendar month (pcm), two bedrooms at £1,172 pcm, three bedrooms at £1,329 pcm and four bedrooms at £1,835.
Our relocation agents are currently active in Reading, monitoring the private rental market, sourcing properties close to employment hubs and helping settle home movers. If you have clients relocating to Reading and would like orientation and rental advice, contact Klippa Relocation today.