Reading UK, the business-led economic development and place marketing company for Reading, welcomes the decision by Reading Borough Council to bid for City Status in the Queen’s platinum jubilee year of 2022.
Reading UK will lend its expertise and support to the Council as part of the team preparing the bid. Nigel Horton-Baker, executive director of Reading UK, said: "Reading UK has been promoting Reading as a 'de facto city' for several years, a status that is well-recognised in the business world in which Reading competes with UK and international cities as an economic powerhouse.
"Reading boasts all the hallmarks of a successful city, from a great quality of life to global companies, excellent transport infrastructure to a clear sense of identity powered by its people. It is now time for the UK political process to acknowledge that reality by designating Reading a city in 2022."
One of Reading’s key strengths in the city bid will be its strong economic performance. Reading is rated by many top commentators including Centre for Cities, PWC, Deloitte, KPMG and EY as a city economy under most measures of economic performance. Reading also regularly gains international accolades for its city economy, such as featuring in the FT FDI Best Small Cities in Europe.
Horton-Baker continues: "The Reading 2050 City Vision, led by Reading UK in partnership with the University of Reading and Barton Wilmore, sets out an ambition for Reading to be a smart, inclusive and sustainable city which has green tech, culture and heritage and green spaces at the heart of its future. Post-covid, Reading is already exiting the economic recession brought about by the pandemic faster than most other cities. The future looks bright for Reading and we hope all of Reading will get behind the Council in championing Reading for City status."