Reading is a large multi-cultural town in the county of Berkshire and is situated in south east England. Only around forty miles from London, it is popular with commuters due the excellent transport links, both road and rail. The nearest 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 River Kennett and the 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.
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 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 University of Reading has a good reputation and performs world renowned research. Its ranking has risen and now stands at 169 according to QS World University Rankings 2024, offering some fantastic course choices to many thousands of students from all over the world.
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.