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Living And Working In Reading

Reading is a large town in the county of Berkshire which is situated in south east England. It is the largest town without city status in the UK .Only around forty miles from London, it is popular with commuters due the excellent transport links - both road and rail.
Written by
Joanna Clare
Content Manager
Published on
February 27, 2024

Reading is a large town in the county of Berkshire which is situated in south east England. It is the largest town without city status in the UK .Only around forty miles from London, it is popular with commuters due the excellent transport links -  both road and rail. The nearest international airport, Heathrow, is a little over twenty miles away. Reading is often described as a regional transport hub, international gateway for travel and a major transport interchange due to its close proximity to London.

Sitting on the junction of two rivers, the pretty River Kennett and the widely known River Thames, Reading had always been favourably placed for trade. For centuries the manufacturing of cloth was a major industry and as it went into a natural decline it was replaced with iron works and the brewing trade. By the nineteenth century, the town grew rapidly and was known mainly for various manufacturing (often known as the three B’s - breweries, bulbs and biscuits!)  helped significantly as many other areas were by the beginning of the railways and the Industrial Revolution.

Multicultural Reading is a diverse and prosperous town and with both the population and ethnicity on the rise, the town is proud to still retain its sense of belonging.  It is home to many large international companies and can boast some fantastic high tech business parks.  Retail and leisure is booming and it is well known for having become a popular and major retail centre. Additionally,  Reading shows strengths in many sectors which include technology and ICT, creative, life sciences and healthcare, education and research, financial and business services and manufacturing. Reading has recently been placed in the top ten of best places to gain employment and to live as well as the number 1 entrepreneurial hotspot in the UK. Its workforce ranks within the UK top five cities for good economic growth and the workforce is ranked in the top five for qualification levels and productivity. According to data, Reading offers an above average rate of jobs, annual income, skill of its workforce and overall health of its residents. The town's fast growing economy is predicted to outperform much of the UK in the coming years due to its economic resilience, skill levels and high productivity. With such a strong and prosperous economy which is driven by technology, finance and professional services, it provides an abundance of job opportunities. The town is a great place for inward investment and relocating businesses due to its continued success.

The University of Reading has been leading Uk higher education for almost a century. It is one of Berkshire’s largest employers with around 4,000 academics and professional services staff. Its ranking has risen and now stands at 169 worldwide and 26 in the UK, according to QS World University Rankings 2024, offering a huge variety of course choices to many thousands of  students from all over the world. The university contributes around £1 billion each year to the UK economy.

The exciting Oracle shopping centre, which has more than eighty shops, is interestingly named after the 17th century Oracle Workhouse which was built using funds from a local man named John Kendrick. Restaurants and cafes are plentiful and the nightlife here is incredible. There is also the ever popular Reading Festival which is held each summer and attracts many thousands of music fans. Reading is also big on arts and culture with a host of venues to enjoy.

Reading has over a hundred parks and play areas, numerous wooded areas and several nature reserves. Slightly further afield are the beautiful Chilterns and many lovely villages to inspire you. Nearby Henley on Thames is a charming market town made famous for its annual regatta and historic architecture while Windsor is also close by where you can visit the splendour of Windsor Castle and Windsor Great Park

Overall, Reading is a great place to live and work, offering a combination of urban vibrancy and natural beauty that really makes it stand out. Additionally, the town's rich cultural scene, diverse dining, exciting nightlife and extensive retail centres provides plenty to do for everyone. The town is able to balance work and leisure well and with its reputation for being one of the UK’s most economically dynamic and culturally engaging towns,  it is perfect for those seeking a fulfilling lifestyle combined with professional growth.

The next event being hosted by the UK Careers Fair will be held on March 6th between 10am - 2pm. The venue is the Penta Hotel, RG1 7RH. This luxurious and spacious 4 star hotel is conveniently situated within the town centre, only minutes from Reading railway station.

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