The beautiful county of Oxfordshire lies between the Cotswolds to the west, the Chilterns to the east, the River Thames to the south, and the Midlands to the north.
The most notable of all Oxfordshire’s spectacular attractions is without doubt the city of Oxford with its world-famous University of Oxford. Founded in 1096, the "dreaming spires" of the university buildings are the primary reason for Oxford being the sixth most visited city in the UK for international visitors. The University of Oxford’s value to the UK economy is far more than just tourism however, contributing around £5.8 billion, and supporting more than 50,000 full time jobs.
Oxford is not the only point of interest however, other centres of population include Banbury, Bicester, and Chipping Norton to the north of Oxford; Thame and Chinnor to the east; and Abingdon, Didcot, and Henley-on-Thames with its famous festival to the south.
With a population just over 680,000, the county’s GVA in 2015 was £21.9bn and Oxfordshire is known as one of the UK’s most innovative areas, supported by a rapid increase in private sector employment over the last 6 years. Oxford’s growth of 19.3% is the highest of any place outside London.
The city of Oxford has the largest concentration of industry in the county and is home to around 4,865 businesses, contributing £7.34bn to the national economy annually. The town and county are a focus for international technology and pharmaceuticals businesses as well as education, and in 2016/17 Oxfordshire was responsible for approximately 9% of all foreign direct investment in England.
Oxfordshire as a county has a diverse mix of sectors with education leading the pack thanks to the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University. As a result, Oxford has become a focal point for research and science and is at the centre of one of the top five technology clusters in the world.
With the above average concentration of technology companies, we find data science, quantum technology, robotics and biotechnology businesses, including two of the UK’s 13 ‘unicorn’ ($1 billion) tech businesses – Oxford Nanopore and Immunocore in the county.
The print and publishing sector, led by the world-renowned Oxford University Press, alongside the regional headquarters for Newsquest help to make Oxford the largest publishing centre outside of London.
The automotive industry is a strong player for Oxfordshire, supported by the large number of technology companies based locally. Vehicle manufacturing is a strong player thanks to Mini BMW’s local manufacturing centre as well as high performance motorsport with Oxfordshire being home to three formula one teams.
In a county with such a diverse business base, it is not surprising that the business service sector has a strong role to play. The major professional firms, such as legal and accountancy, are positioned to provide a lower cost base than London practices as well as compete for local business. Oxford is also home to large companies in specialist sectors including market research, social and economic policy. Firms including A.C. Nielsen SPA Future Thinking, Oxford Economics and Oxford Policy Management and OPP are among many that demonstrate the specialist knowledge base available in the area.*
Armstrong Lloyd works with a variety of businesses in Oxfordshire across a broad remit of marketing specialities. Digital marketing in Oxfordshire has a very strong role to play in technology businesses, and we work with some of the strongest digital marketers the county has to offer. With such a diverse business base, marketing professionals are spoilt for choice when it comes to different industries to bring their skills to.
*Oxford Economic Profile 2018, Oxford City Council