Why Berkshire is Best for Business

Berkshire business supportWhy is Berkshire best for your business?

Berkshire is a great location for your business, whether you are a start-up, small to medium sized business or a large corporate.

With the strongest local economy in the UK outside of London, a thriving knowledge sector, excellent transport links, and no signs of a slow-down in Foreign Direct Investment, private equity investment, recruitment activity or property market activity, Berkshire is a highly attractive location for ambitious businesses.

A thriving business community

The number of registered businesses in Berkshire has increased substantially over the last few years, with around 43,105 registered businesses (registered for VAT or PAYE). This includes about:

  • 240 large businesses (more than 250 employees)
  • 4,125 mid-sized businesses (10-249 employees)
  • 3,910 small businesses (5-9 employees)
  • 34,830 micro businesses (0-4 employees)
  • 213 scale-ups (10+ employees, Average Annual Growth Rate 20% over three years)

(Source: IDBR, ONS, 2016, Business Population data, ONS, 2015 and Scale-Up Report, Scale-Up Institute, 2016)

Berkshire has a particularly high concentration of companies operating in the digital technologies (e.g. Software, IT, cyber security, telecoms), life sciences and healthcare, and energy and environment sectors. It is also home to some of the largest business parks, including Slough Trading Estate and Reading’s Green Park, as well as a rapidly growing community of co-working spaces.

Strong local economy

Berkshire is strong economically with a higher employment rate, and lower unemployment and economic inactivity rates than both the national and regional averages.

The county boasts:

  • A high-performing economy worth over £35 billion per annum and makes a net contribution to UK plc, contributing a disproportionately large proportion of economic value to the regional economy.
  • The second highest economic output (GVA per head) and productivity levels of all LEP areas outside of London.
  • Global companies such as Vodafone, Telefonica, GSK, Microsoft, Oracle and Mars.
  • Twice as many digital technology companies than the national average and Reading (and the surrounding area) was identified in the 2017 Tech Nation report as having by far the greatest concentration of tech business of any UK town or city.

(Source: TVB LEP’s Berkshire Labour Market Q2 2018 Report)

Exceptional infrastructure

Berkshire benefits from excellent transport links and is close to Heathrow Airport. By road, it is extremely well connected to the M25 and wider motorway network, via the M4, M3 and M40 motorways. It is also well served by rail connections via the Reading to London Paddington Mainline and Reading to London Waterloo Line. Whilst, the opening of Crossrail (the new Elizabeth Line) in late 2019 will provide even faster access to Central London and The City from Reading, Maidenhead and Slough.

The county is also improving its superfast broadband coverage. The Superfast Berkshire programme, which started in 2011, aims to improve the area’s superfast broadband coverage to more than 99%.

A beautiful place to do business

Alongside extensive business parks and excellent transport links, Berkshire also boasts some of the most beautiful landscapes, royal residences and iconic locations, from Windsor Castle and Ascot Racecourse to Wellington Country Park and Boulters Lock on the River Thames.  

Funding for SMEs

The Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (TVB LEP) has committed £11.3 million of capital to create a new funding escalator of loans and equity across four funding initiatives managed by The FSE Group. If you are an ambitious SME based in Berkshire with the potential to deliver high growth and employment opportunities, you may be eligible to apply.

To find out more information about the Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator, please call us on 01344 388005 or click here 

Excellent business support services

If you are looking to start, grow or relocate a business in Berkshire, we can provide you with a range of advice and support as well as connect you with a network of local (and national) programmes and organisations.

As the local Business Growth Hub for Berkshire, we are a one-stop shop for business support in the county and can provide you with a wealth of information and free events, from business strategy and funding to exporting and intellectual property. As of March 2019, we have engaged with over 2,124 businesses and provided intensive support to 722 businesses. We’ve also received a 98% satisfaction rating from clients on our High Growth Programme and 91% of clients felt the support received from the Berkshire Growth Hub has had a positive impact on their business (Source: Evaluation Survey 2019).

For more information on our services, click here.