The Royal County of Berkshire is at the heart of the Home Counties. Home of Windsor Castle, the largest inhabited castle in the world, Eton where so many British Prime Ministers have been educated, Ascot Racecourse and the third oldest pub in England; Berkshire has something to offer everyone.
It has a population just shy of 900,000 people (2016 estimates) and Berkshire’s notable towns include Windsor, Bracknell, Slough, Newbury, Wokingham and Ascot. The county’s largest town is Reading which also happens to be the largest town in the UK without city status. Reading, with it’s fantastic commuter links attracts a large number of multi-national companies.
Consequently, Berkshire’s economy is one of the strongest in the UK. Cited as second only to London in terms of economic output and productivity; Berkshire contributes over £35 billion GVA and has shown steady growth in recent years.
Industry in Berkshire
Leading Berkshire’s core sectors is the software and tech industry. In recent years Reading, Bracknell and the Thames Valley have become known as the UK’s answer to Silicon Valley. The tech industry bought in a turnover of £10 billion to the UK and Berkshire’s economy in 2016, making the tech industry the leading employer in the county, with 44,000 employees specialising in enterprise software, cloud computing, data management and analysis. The county’s top employers include Microsoft, Oracle, Huawei, Verizon and DataSift.
Following on the heels of the tech industry, Berkshire hosts a strong financial and business services hub; financial services and business services have become a key sector over the years with Prudential leading the pack, followed by Barclays, VISA, HSBC, Shoosmiths, PWC and Oslang.
Other key sectors worthy of note include energy and renewables and Bio-pharma and biotech who have found a home in Berkshire.