April 2022 – Published by Reading UK
Welcome to the latest news for Reading businesses from Reading UK. Any colleagues who might like to receive this monthly newsletter can sign up here...
Pictured above: the recently opened Blue Collar Corner in Hosier Street. 

One of the best places to live in the South East

This weekend's Sunday Times will include Reading as one of the top 10 places to live in the South East. The survey, which has been running for 10 years, features Reading for the first time this year. Nigel Horton-Baker, Executive Director of Reading UK, said: “At a time where people’s working choices are changing in search of a better work-life balance, it is increasingly the quality of life that Reading offers that will keep people living here and attract new blood to the area.

"Our fantastic lifestyle offer is now rivalling our reputation as one of the UK’s best places to work and do business so you can achieve great things at work in Reading and live well locally. Reading’s green spaces and waterways, multi-cultural community, thriving arts scene, surprising heritage, excellent schools and diverse and relatively affordable housing market (compared to other parts of the South East/London) are all factors which are making Reading one of the most sought-after places to live in the South East."

Hybrid working will bring economic growth for Reading, states report.

Reading ranks in the UK’s top five cities for good economic growth, according to the 2022 Demos-PwC Good Growth for Cities Index report.  The Index ranks 50 of the UK’s largest cities based on people’s assessment of 12 key economic wellbeing factors, including jobs, health, income and skills, as well as work-life balance, house affordability, travel-to-work times, income equality, environment and business start-ups.  Reading ranks 4th with particularly strong performance in income and skills (age 25+). The report expects stronger future growth in smaller cities such as Reading, largely driven by the rise of hybrid or home-working patterns as well as the preponderance of high growth sectors of the economy.  Read more>>>

Reading office workers coming back?

Reading UK’s latest office survey shows a marked change in the prevalence towards working in the office, compared to previous surveys over the last two years. The fourth iteration of the survey conducted in March 2022 paints a much more encouraging picture of the town centre office population than last time we surveyed in December at which point people reported working 1-2 days in the office at most.  

Currently, 30% of town centre office workers say they are in the office daily, while 25% are in the office 1-2 days a week and 30% 3-4 days a week. Longer term, 34% say they will be mostly office based with 60% adopting a hybrid home/office working pattern. Office days are evenly split across Monday – Thursday with 40% travelling by car and 45% by public transport.  Encouragingly, employees are reporting that 45% of their companies have maintained employee numbers over the last two years and 35% have expanded, while only 25% have contracted. 

visit-reading website launches

A brand-new destination website, has been launched by Reading UK.  Showcasing Reading’s visitor economy with listings for accommodation, things to do, shops, restaurants, bars and cafes, the site aims to become the go-to resource for people visiting Reading for work, leisure, study or coming to see friends and family. 

The site has been designed for Reading UK by destination specialist web developer Simpleview, and as well as providing lots of ideas and inspiration for visits, it also allows leisure and hospitality businesses to manage and control their own listing on the site. The site replaces the visitor content on and is the first phase of a new digital and place brand marketing drive by Reading UK on behalf of Reading. To find out more or get involved, contact Alex Brannen or Victoria Patyra.

GWR Contactless extends to Thames Valley

Contactless tickets have been available been Reading and Paddington for some time now but GWR have now extended the scheme to Windsor & Eton Central, Wargrave, Shiplake and Henley-on-Thames. There's no need to stop at the machines to purchase a ticket, just go contactless and enjoy the convenience of tapping in and out at more stations nearby. Go contactless, find out more>>> 

The Station Hill development is coming out of the ground at impressive speed. When you walk passed, scan the QR code at the station side hoarding to see what it will look like when complete. 

Meet local, buy local - 28 April

Reading Business Network presents “Meet Local, Buy Local”, its next live event on 28 April at Green Park Conference Centre,  6-8pm. The event focuses on the circular economy and how we can harness local buying to drive economic success. As well as the chance for businesses to build networks and find new B2B customers, the event will include expert speakers from major companies who will discuss:

•    Local purchasing and winning contracts
•    The role of small business in a buoyant economy
•    Why a circular economy is good for the planet 

The event is FREE and open to any business in the greater Reading area – and includes the opportunity to promote your business services.  If you’re interested in attending contact

Reading Jobs Fest - 10 May

Join Reading UK at Reading’s biggest and best job event at The Penta Hotel on 10 May.  Whether you are looking for new staff or apprentices this is the event for you. Your company is invited to join up to 70 other local businesses and training providers at the town’s busiest job event. The Job Fest is free to both exhibitors and visitors, and is organised and funded by Reading UK, with partners DWP Jobcentre Plus and New Directions.
Exhibitors at the last event gave it a massive approval rating - 100% said they would attend the event again and 100% said they had found potential candidates. The Job Fest attracts a wide variety of businesses, from all sorts of sectors and this year we are adding value with training, skills and employment support partners. This makes us different to every other job fair as we ensure people looking for great job opportunities get all the guidance they need. 

For more details, or to book, contact Sue Brackley.

RBC news

The Mayor of Reading has launched an appeal for financial donations to the Reading Ukrainian Community Centre to help them support people caught up in the conflict. Find out more>>>

The Council has successfully bid for £26 million of investment in Reading's bus services, to include integrated ticketing, further investment in key bus corridors and further decarbonisation of the fleet. Read more>>>

RBC have invested a further £1 million in carbon reduction measures at brand new leisure sites at Palmer Park and Rivermead, including solar panels and air source heat pumps. More>>>

The Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed that Reading will receive £1.3 million to invest in Reading’s cycle network. This scheme for Bath Road/Castle Hill will include major improvements stretching from Berkeley Avenue, along the Bath Road to Castle Hill, then running over the IDR to Castle Street. More>>>

Celebrating Biscuit Town!

For a large part of the last 200 years, Reading was known as Biscuit Town in recognition of the impact that the Huntley & Palmer biscuit factory had on the town. This year, Reading is celebrating 200 years since the biscuit firm opened its first shop in London Street in 1822. A special exhibition at the Museum of English Rural Life, walking tours, afternoon tea and the stunning biscuit tin collection at Reading Museum will take centre stage from May. Find out more>>>

Get a feel for Reading's biscuit celebrations this summer with Reading UK's short introductory film. 
Blue Collar Corner opened in March in Hosier Street and is already the go-to socialising destination in Reading Thursday to Sunday. There's a wide choice of food, a bar and lots of outdoor seating.  

Heritage walking destination

Reading’s place as the departure point of the St James’ Way, a long distance walking route recreating the medieval pilgrimage route from Reading Abbey to the south coast and on to Spain is now waymarked throughout Reading. The signage, undertaken by the Confraternity of St James,  is part of Reading for Modern Pilgrims, a project led by Reading UK which aims to attract visitors to Reading to explore Reading’s historic and current day links with one of the world’s most famous walking routes, the Camino de Santiago in north-west Spain.  

A trailer for Reading for Modern Pilgrims produced by Reading UK (2 minutes).

Collected: 150 Years of Reading FC

A unique gathering of ephemera, images, and mementos celebrate 150 years of Reading Football Club. At Reading Museum until 6 August.

Easter - including French Market

There is a whole host of events on in Reading this Easter, including a French food take-over of Broad Street on 15 & 16 April. Check out our Easter listings.

Eat Reading - 7 & 8 May

The two-day street food festival returns to Broad Street with food stalls from all over the world, live music and a giant dining table. 

Thinking of relocating to Reading?

Copyright © Reading UK, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
The Library Building, Abbey Square, Reading, RG1 3BQ 

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.