March 2022 – Published by Reading UK
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Pictured above: the Elizabeth Line will be fully opening in 2022.

A great place to work, live and do business

Reading ranks fourth in a new index which assesses which of the UK’s 100 largest towns and cities outside London are the best to live and do business in and have the strongest growth prospects.

The Lambert Smith Hampton Vitality Index 2022 ranks each location for economy and business; living and health and environment. Specifically, Reading ranks 4th for business based on wage growth, workforce jobs growth in specific sectors, new enterprises and business density, productivity and growth and commercial property investment. For living, Reading ranks 7th nationally on the basis of excellent education, lifestyle and consumption. 

The report goes on to say that "in light of the changes accelerated by the pandemic, such as greater home working and the increased desire for green space, these (factors) could become even more desirable as residential and business locations, particularly for those currently based in London."

On track to delivering major rail investment in 2022

As we eagerly await the Queen’s decision to make Reading a City, Reading is not standing still and continues to build its visitor welcome as one of the most accessible and sustainable public transport locations in the country. Rail is at the heart of this infrastructure investment, a factor that will attract property investors and developers, global businesses, the regional workforce and visitors. Indeed, Reading’s first-class connectivity is the single biggest reason we attract such high levels of investment and will continue to do so according to the recent report by EY.

Central to attracting and delivering successful transport investment for Reading is a strategic approach through partnership, one that links Reading locally, regionally and nationally through the rail network and includes multi-modal transport interchanges. So what do we have to look forward to in 2022? Read our blog below. 


Blog: On track to delivering major rail investment in 2022 >>>
Latest drone footage of Green Park Station from Reading Borough Council.

Business support for good causes

The Reading Ukrainian Community Centre has been overwhelmed with donations and is currently unable to receive any more. If you want to make a donation, they suggest the following list of charities where donations will be used to support the humanitarian effort:

This week's Launchpad Pancake Race, which saw 32 teams batter it out on Broad Street on Shrove Tuesday, raised almost £7000 for the charity. Accountancy firm, Crowe UK, took home the coveted frying pan trophy. Money raised will help fund Launchpad’s vital services for people who are homeless or at risk of losing their home.

Could Reading be the base for Moderna?

Moderna, the US-headquartered biotech company and one of the leaders in developing vaccines to fight COVID-19, could be considering Reading as the base for its new hybrid 100,000-square-feet campus, according to property reports. Reading's growing reputation as a life sciences centre as well as its fantastic connectivity means Reading is vying with Oxford, Cambridge and west London to be the location for a building  that can provide a hybrid of clean laboratory, manufacturing and offices suitable for the production of vaccines. Moderna is being advised by the UK government's Department for International Trade as a key part of Government plans for the country's post-Brexit life sciences strategy.  

Kings Meadow View

Located on the current Forbury Retail Park, between the Forbury Place office complex and the new Huntley Wharf residential development, Kings Meadow is the latest city centre housing scheme to reach the consultation stage. 

The proposals would represent a significant investment into Reading, creating 900 new homes close to the station, as well as 2,500 sq m of ground floor retail/flexible commercial space, alongside smaller units for other supporting small businesses such as cafes, convenience stores or cycle hire. 

The proposals are being put forward by abrdn (Aberdeen Standard Investments), the current owners of the  Forbury Retail Park .The public consultation is  now open for comments.

Office survey

With all pandemic restrictions lifted on 24 February, will Reading's workforce be heading back to the office? Please take 2 minutes to let us know about your future working intentions. Will you continue to work from home, adopt a hybrid pattern of working or come back to Reading full time? 

Office survey - where will you be working?

Queen's Prize for climate research

The University of Reading has been presented with a Queen’s Anniversary Prize, the highest national honour for a UK institution in higher and further education, for its work on climate change.

HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Princess Royal presented Professor Robert Van de Noort, Vice-Chancellor, and Professor Joy Singarayer, joint head of the Department of Meteorology, with the medal and citation for the award at a ceremony at St James' Palace in February. The University's nomination to the awards committee was titled ‘Tackling the Impacts of Climate Change - From Global to Local' and outlined the work of the meteorologists, climate scientists, hydrologists, ecologists, soil scientists and ‘big data' specialists.

The University's renowned researchers will soon be joined on the Whiteknights campus by a new state-of-the-art headquarters for the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). The campus is set to become home to the largest cluster of weather and climate scientists in the world.

Meet local, buy local - Reading Business Network

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

An 'Urban Room' for Reading

For the month of March, a new urban space offering local communities a place to discuss issues that affect Reading's development will be open. The Reading Urban Room is located in Broad Street Mall to provide information to the local community about key issues such as the Reading Town Centre Strategy. There will be talks, workshops, open consultations and drop-ins for Reading community to participate in as well as a digital town map to collect comments on development.  

Week 1: Tuesday 1 March – Saturday 5 March - Welcome and introduction
Week 2: Tuesday 8 March – 12 March - Health and wellbeing
Week 3: Tuesday 15 March – 19 March - Culture and heritage
Week 4: Tuesday 22 March – 26 March - Climate change
Week 5: Tuesday 29 March – 31 March - Future of Reading

Read Nigel Horton-Baker's blog on what an urban room is and what it can do for Reading>>>

Low Carbon Workspace grants

Low Carbon Workspaces grants are available from £1,000 - £5,000 to help fund a third of the cost of projects at commercial premises that reduce energy usage or carbon emissions. Fundable projects include; LED lighting, solar PV panels, heating upgrades, and insulation/glazing. These interventions are a great way for your business to decarbonise, save money on energy bills, and help achieve your net zero goals. 

Grants cannot be paid retrospectively so it is essential to apply before undertaking work or appointing suppliers. For full details or to ask the team any questions, visit or email

Blue Collar Corner to open this month

Reading’s newest independent venue featuring 1 bar, 2 floors & 4 kitchens, a huge beer garden in the Summer and with cover in the Winter opens on 12 March in Hosier Street. Blue Collar Street Food who run the weekly street food markets in Market Place will be opening their first permanent venture, Blue Collar Corner.  With beer from Reading brewery Double-Barrelled, cocktails from the bar, rooftop vibes, DJ sets, it will also feature award-winning fried chicken from Gurt Wings, Neopolitan pizzas from Sarv’s Slice, bao buns from YouBao and vegan tacos from The Taco Tree. 

Opening on Hosier Street on 12 March, Thursdays - Sundays 

More station volunteers needed

Volunteer Welcome to Reading Ambassadors are back at Reading Station welcoming visitors to the town, providing a warm welcome, directions and advice on things to do in Reading. If you would like to join the team or know someone who would like to share their pride in Reading, please email

Harry Potter comes to Reading!

The stunning Wizarding World Wand installation is set to visit Reading this Spring to celebrate the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.

Standing 15 feet tall, nine wands will illuminate each evening, performing a light show to the thrilling music from the Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter films, bringing to life some of the favourite characters in the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films. 

Reading is one of just four UK locations chosen to host the installation. The wands will be on display at the Oracle Shopping Centre Riverside from 30 March  to 5 April. 

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.

Brewery Tour and Tasting - 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month

Reading's micro brewery and tap room Double Barrelled offer regular tours and tastings. 

Nish Kumar -  6 April

The Mash Report host comes to Reading with his political satire show.

Thinking of relocating to Reading?

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