Reading UK has launched an economic recovery strategy in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Its Powered by People strategy aims to rebuild the economy based on three key priorities Reading UK has identified:

  • Inclusive Reading – boosting employment, skills and training
  • Smart Reading – seeking to drive economic success
  • Destination Reading – aimed at creating a ‘great place to work, live, visit and do business’

The council has endorsed the strategy and is a partner in delivering it.

Chair of Reading UK, Adam Jacobs, said: “As part of its longstanding mission boosting business and enhancing visitor perceptions, not-for-profit Reading UK has been at the forefront of economic development and promotion of Reading as a place, led by its board.

“It has served the town well for over 10 years, making a real difference in our community and is therefore well placed now to bring together private and the public sectors to steer a path through the recovery phase into a new era of economic success, one that is both technology-driven and environmentally sustainable.

“Our Reading 2050 Vision is our guiding light and while Government support is always welcome, we mustn’t wait to start addressing the challenges we face locally. I call on all businesses in the greater Reading area to support this strategy and help us to deliver it.”

Samantha Foley, Reading UK board member and chief financial officer at the University of Reading, said: “As a major business committed to Reading, we are fully supportive of the recovery strategy.

“With our world-class research, superb prospects for our science and innovation park, business support services and the hosting of some 20,000 students from all around the world every year, it is important that we set standards as an inclusive, smart and welcoming town; one that continues to attract a diverse audience of learners, businesses and visitors, and creates prosperity that our residents can all share.”

Cllr Jason Brock, vice chair of Reading UK and leader of Reading Borough Council, said: “The Council welcomes this single strategy for the town that both the public and private sectors can rally around and support.

“I’m confident that our economy will bounce back quickly, based on the strength of Reading’s economic structure; our innovative and entrepreneurial economy, research-led university, highly skilled workforce, global connectivity and trade links.

“I still believe we will be an attractive location for new businesses, investors and developers, however I am keen that we build back better, growing our economy above and beyond its former levels in a way that is more inclusive of local people, using greener technology and rebuilding our arts, heritage and cultural strengths into a repurposed town centre.”

Reading UK has developed a new Recovery Hub as a source of more information.


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