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University of Reading contributes £1bn to UK economy

24 November 2023
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New research has revealed that the University of Reading contributes approximately £1 billion a year to the UK economy.

The Economic Impact of the University of Reading report, commissioned by the University and compiled by experts Hatch Urban Solutions, highlights the contribution of the University of Reading to the local, regional and national economy.

Based on data from the 2021/22 academic year, the University and the tenants within its commercial spaces contribute £1 billion to the UK economy in Gross Value Added (GVA).

READ MORE: University of Reading climbs to 169th in QS world rankings

Around half of that is retained within the Reading area, equivalent to 2.9% of the economy of Reading.

The University’s contribution to the UK economy is 24% larger than when measured in a previous study, which captured the impacts for the 2017/18 academic year.

The increase is mostly driven by a larger student population, and the associated expenditure effects. The study shows that University of Reading students spend an estimated £260 million off campus each year.

An increase in the University’s commercial space also added to the overall economic contribution. In addition to businesses already based across the University estate, the University-owned Thames Valley Science Park has recently expanded and is now home to Shinfield Studios, a new film and TV production hub, and the British Museum’s new research and storage facility, among other new tenants.

On employment, the report estimates that the University, including its commercial operations, supports a total of 12,300 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs nationally.

Professor Robert Van de Noort, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, said: “The University of Reading is an important anchor institution, making a significant economic, social and cultural contribution within Reading and the Thames Valley, as well as all the communities globally that we serve.

“This report demonstrates that we have reached our strategic target of contributing £1 billion to the UK economy, with much of that staying within the local area and providing jobs here, through our own activity and in supporting commercial operations of others.

“Growing our engagement with the world beyond our campuses is a core part of our mission, and we will continue to play our role in supporting communities economically, socially and culturally.”

READ MORE: University of Reading breaks undergraduate acceptance record


Stephen Emerson is the Managing Editor of The Business Magazine and is responsible for the publication's print publications and online properties including the newly launched Biz News websites in Hampshire and Dorset.

Stephen has been a journalist for 20 years and has worked at local, regional and national publications and led a team which made The Scotsman website one of the fastest growing news sites in the UK with over eight million monthly users.

He has a keen interest in technology, property and corporate finance and telling the stories of the people behind the successful firms in these sectors.

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