READING MEETINGS GUIDE

Riverside

FACTS AND FIGURES

The town of Reading had a population of 145,700 in 2011, an increase of 8% in the past 10 years in line with the national average of 7.8%. The population density of Reading is 10 times higher than the UK average, with 3,854 people per square kilometre compared to 371. In the county of Berkshire, there is a larger proportion of people between 30-55 than the national average; whereas the smallest age group is 20-24%, which only makes up 10% of the population.

Reading is home to many rather well-educated people, with only 17.4% of the population having no qualifications compared to the UK average of 22.5%; and 34.8% educated to degree standard or equivalent, compared to the average of 27.4%. 63% of Berkshires population are of working age, with professional occupations, such as law and accountancy, the most popular, employing 24% of Readings population. The largest industries in Reading are retail and wholesale at 15.5%, information and communication at 11.1%, and human health and social work at 10.9%.

St Marys

TRANSPORT LINKS

Although a town situated in the countryside, Readings close proximity to London means it is easily reachable from cities all over the world. The UKs largest airport; London Heathrow, is the closest airport to Reading, a mere 35 miles away; and serves 70 million people to cities all over the world. Other nearby airports include London Luton 58 miles away, and Gatwick 60 miles away.

For a town, Reading has a large train station, making it easily accessible for people in all areas of the UK. It is the 8th busiest station outside of London, serving over 15 million passengers each year, and is the 3rd busiest interchange station outside of London. With direct routes to many major cities such as London in just half an hour, Cardiff in 100 minutes, Manchester in 3 hours 30 and Newcastle in 5 hours, Reading can be reached easily by anyone, regardless of where they are in the UK.

Reading is small enough to be covered by foot, but the public transport links ensure easy travel around the town and the county of Berkshire. Amongst the most modern fleets in England, these brightly coloured buses make them instantly recognisable, so people can quickly see which bus they need to catch to reach their desired destination.


READING VENUES

Situated just outside of London, Reading is a popular conferences venue for delegates wanting a convenient location with a cheaper price; and with 83 conference and meeting venues, it is easy to see just how popular Reading is with corporate events. With 6 venues able to hold over 500 delegates, and 4 with a capacity of over 1,000; whilst there is not a huge amount of choice available for large parties, there is still the option of holding a conference in Reading. What Reading does offer though, is a large choice for smaller parties, with 25 venues available exclusively for 30 delegates or less.

Reading is a popular base for tourists who either wish to see the pretty countryside of Berkshire, or the bright lights of London, but want to spend less money on their hotel room; and as such, Reading has 104 hotels to choose from. With 2 five star and 48 four star hotels, companies wishing to splash the cash on luxurious venues with find themselves spoilt for choice. Nevertheless, businesses with more modest budgets will still have plenty of options to pick from, with 41 three star and 6 two star hotels.

Swans

LEISURE AND TOURISM

Reading is a great place to explore if you are a history buff, and delegates will surely enjoy wandering around this 1,400 year old town, boasting more than 850 listed buildings and structures; an old jail and the Oscar Wilde gates. Reading is full of pretty scenery too, with a beautiful flower garden known as Forbury Gardens; and a 7 mile stretch of the River Thames, which can be cruised up and down on.

Delegates wishing to explore Readings nightlife will find a variety of ways to spend their night. There are many stylish restaurants offering international cuisine from all over the world, cosy pubs (some with their own micro-brewery), bars and nightclubs to dance the night away. There are also two cinemas on offer with late night film viewings, a jazz club and two casinos; Reading really does offer something for everyone.

Images courtesy of Living Reading


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