STAY AHEAD OF THE MARKET
The UKs
Silicon Valley Guide
SUMMER 2019
Introduction
Bracknell: Reinventing
a New Town
Future of the
UK Tech Sector
Why Investors Are Choosing
the UK Tech Corridor
Reading: Business Space,
Living Base
Guide
Summary
1
3
5
2
4
6
Contents
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Introduction
The UK tech sector is accelerating faster
than the wider economy. According to the
2018 Tech Nation Report, it grew from £170
to £184 billion between 2016 and 2018,
expanding two-and-a-half times faster than
the rest of the countrys economy.
1
The M4 corridor is where the UK’s
technology sector has grown and
ourished for close to 30 years - hosting
the world’s top technology rms including
Microsoft, IBM and Oracle. Dubbed the UK’s
‘Silicon Valley, the tech corridor stretches
throughout Berkshire and the Thames
Valley, encompassing hotspots such as
Reading, Bracknell, Slough and into Milton
Keynes.
The growth that the UK’s Silicon Valley
has experienced over the last 20 years has
helped forge some of the most lucrative
investment opportunities in the country,
attracting a highly ambitious workforce,
huge tech occupiers and driving further
inward investment. A chronic undersupply
of residential property in this area (much
like the rest of the country) means the
market is competitive, ideal for those
who already have or are looking to grow
property investments in these hotspots.
The growth that the tech corridor
has experienced over the last 20
years has helped forge some of
the most lucrative investment
opportunities
It’s no coincidence that some of
these UK tech hotspots are major
commuter destinations. These markets
are an aordable alternative to London,
oering direct access to the capital. As
infrastructure improvements throughout
the region enhance connectivity to
unprecedented levels, the tech sector will
also reap the benets.
For investors, these hotspots within the
UK’s Silicon Valley represent a chance to
take advantage of incredible tenant demand
- driven by new development of oce, retail
and leisure spaces, enhanced employment
opportunities and accessibility across the
South East and wider UK.
1. https://technation.io/insights/report-2018/
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Why Investors Are
Choosing the UK Tech
Corridor
The UK is recognised as ‘one of the
most promising countries in the world
for technology breakthroughs on a
global scale.’ In a 2019 study by KPMG,
the UK was ranked 3rd for countries
expected to produce the most ‘disruptive
technologies’.
2
For a young, ambitious
workforce, this makes the region highly
appealing, attracting future tech leaders
and entrepreneurs who want to work for
global names such as Microsoft and IBM,
as well as UK giants Deliveroo, Huddle and
Sage.
Over $7.7 billion was invested in UK
startups during 2018 according to KPMG
- 1.5 times higher than the level invested
in Germany and 2.6 times the levels of
investment in France.
3
This incredible
amount of investment, a large majority
of which was funnelled into London and
other UK Silicon Valley startups reects
the support and enthusiasm of public
and private bodies within areas such as
Bracknell and Slough. Key locations within
the UK’s Silicon Valley, both Bracknell and
Slough are currently in the midst of long-
term, large scale regeneration projects
which are improving and creating quality
residential, commercial and retail spaces.
Many of these locations are ranking well
in terms of ‘future potential’ and building
the fundamentals for a great investment,
with low unemployment and impressive
amenities attracting young professionals
and families who make ideal tenants for
investors. In 2016, JLL analysed the eect
that Crossrail would have on the London
commuter belt on top of other large-
scale investments - Slough, Maidenhead
and Reading were all in the top ve for
‘regeneration impact score’, a rating based
on the volume of broad regeneration and
the impact it’s likely to have on the local
economy.
4
PROPERTY PRICE INCREASE FROM 2009 RECESSION - 2019
SLOUGH
2. https://info.kpmg.us/content/dam/info/en/innovation-enterprise-solutions/pdf/2019/technology-innovation-hubs-2019.pdf
3. https://www.uktech.news/news/uk-ranks-third-for-innovation-disruption-and-technology-20190312
4. http://residential.jll.co.uk/insights/research/crossrail-opportunities-2016/jll-crossrail-tool-2016
5. https://www.theguardian.com/money/2018/jun/27/londons-property-prices-leads-to-exodus-of-early-30s
6. https://www.zoopla.co.uk/house-prices/
53%
KEY FINDINGS
UK: ranked 3rd for countries expected
to produce the most ‘disruptive
technologies’
Home to global brands such as Microsoft
and IBM
Over $7.7 Billion invested into UK
startups during 2018
As London continues to stagnate, tech
sector employees are looking at more
aordable and attractive markets to live, all
within a commutable distance to work. The
capital is already seeing double the amount
of people leaving with nearly 35,000 leaving
London in 2016 for somewhere more
aordable,
5
making these towns prime
targets.
Property prices have also beneted in
many of these top tech locations - Slough
has seen price increases of 53% since the
recession in 2009, while Reading increased
by 55% and Bracknell by 60% in the same
period.
6
Each of these towns has utilised
the wave of new tech rms and startups to
drive property prices, further impacted by
infrastructure projects such as Crossrail
and Western Rail Access.
This is only set to continue as the
standard of facilities improve and tenant
demand continues to rise. The UK is re-
asserting itself as a dominant player on the
world stage and the UK’s answer to Silicon
Valley can only benet from the attention.
Slough has seen price increases
of 53% since the recession in
2009, while Reading increased by
55% and Bracknell by 60%
UK investment levels are 1.5 times higher
than Germany and 2.6 times higher than
France
Slough, Reading and Maidenhead top 5 for
‘regeneration impact score’ according to
JLL in 2016
60% property price increase since 2009
BRACKNELL READING
60% 55%
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UK’S SILICON VALLEY GUIDE
Bracknell:
Reinventing A New
Town
As a key hub in the UK’s Silicon Valley,
Bracknell should be on the radar of every
investor thanks to large-scale regeneration
and global tech rms driving professional
demand. The capital and Heathrow Airport
are directly linked, links that will become
quicker and more eective as infrastructure
projects such as Western Rail Access take
shape. As a prime commuter location and
a cornerstone in Silicon Valley, Bracknell
has a lot to oer working professionals that
want a thriving but aordable market.
This shows in the population growth
the town is forecasting. Home to around
120,000 people, Bracknell has experienced
rapid growth that doesn’t look set to
stop - by 2039 experts are forecasting
a further rise to 141,000.
7
Despite this
uplift in population, employment gures
remain strong - only 2.5% are unemployed,
signicantly lower than the national average
of 4.5% and of the 86% in active full time
employment, 50% are in Senior Managerial
or Director positions. For investors then,
Bracknell represents a unique opportunity
to benet from two distinct tenant bases
- the ultra-skilled domestic workforce and
those who commute to the capital.
A key driver in this population boost
is the regeneration project that is
transforming the Bracknell landscape.
With £770 million committed and plans
that run until 2032, the ‘Bracknell Forest
Vision’ is expanding and rejuvenating
public spaces while building new projects.
8
Over four phases, this dynamic plan will
blend quality residential, commercial, retail
and leisure developments with exceptional
employment opportunities, world-class
green spaces and incredible connectivity
with neighbouring London, Reading and
Basingstoke.
4.5%
2.5%
NATIONAL AVG.
BRACKNELL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
VS. NATIONAL AVERAGE
BRACKNELL
“It seems that buyers are seeing now
is an excellent time to move, whether
they are rst-time buyers, investors
or current homeowners.”
7. http://statsshare.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/StatisticalDataHub/Population.xlsx
8. https://www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/sites/default/les/documents/bracknell-town-centre-2032-vision.pdf
9. https://www.getreading.co.uk/news/business/reading-bracknell-becoming-uks-silicon-10873786
10. https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/reports/lmp/la/contents.aspx
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58% 46%
LIVERPOOL
PROPERTY PRICE GROWTH OVER
THE PAST 20 YEARS
POPULATION IN SENIOR ROLES
10
222%
43%
55%
44%
41%
237%
246%
248%
249%
272%
OXFORD
BIRMINGHAM
BRACKNELL
LEICESTER
MANCHESTER
According to Antony Gibson from
Romans, a leading estate agent in the area:
A huge contributing factor to the increase
in house prices is the recent regeneration
of Bracknell town centre, leading to
better facilities and more employment
opportunities.
“It seems that buyers are seeing now is
an excellent time to move, whether they
are rst-time buyers, investors or current
homeowners.
At the heart of this regeneration is
The Lexicon, a £240 million joint venture
between Legal & General Capital and
Schroeder UK Real Estate to create a
revolutionary retail and leisure destination
for the public. Featuring one million sq.ft
of high-end retail space and top brands
such as Fenwick, Marks & Spencer and
L’Occitaine, The Lexicon is just one example
of how Bracknell is building the foundations
of a high-performing investment market,
delivering the amenities that build and
maintain tenant demand.
The Lexicon is just one example of how Bracknell
is building the foundations of a high-performing
investment market, delivering the amenities that
build and maintain tenant demand.
Bracknell has attracted the likes of
HP, 3M, Vodafone, Fujitsu, Dell and more,
creating a hub of the most innovative
digital industries in the world. The strength
of Bracknell’s tech sector has largely
underpinned its market growth - over
the last 10 years, nearly 40% of oce
takeup has been by technology rms and
Bracknell’s tech industry contributes over
£10 billion to the wider economy.
9
KEY EMPLOYERS
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Reading:
Business Space,
Living Base
Reading has a lot to shout about, oering
excellent connectivity, a burgeoning
creative sector and an environment that
sparks business innovation. Forecast to
be the best performing economic area in
the UK over the next few years, Reading
represents another major technology hub
in the country which has drawn attention as
an investment hotspot. Pricing in Reading
however is outpricing most new residents
who are turning to Bracknell for aordability.
Ranked in the top 25 most attractive
European cities for Foreign Direct
Investment
11
, citing economic potential,
cost-eectiveness, quality of life and
infrastructure. For investors, these are the
fundamental building blocks of a quality
investment location, providing connectivity
and quality job opportunities for a growing
population and an ambitious workforce.
11. https://livingreading.co.uk/news/reading-ranked-among-top-25-business-cities-in-eur
12. https://livingreading.co.uk/invest/the-case-for-investing-in-reading
13. https://www.businessmag.co.uk/thames-valley-reading-key-digital-tech-location-uk/
Reading Borough has a population
of 145,000 which increases to 275,000
when the urban area is taken into account.
Reading has the 5th most qualied
workforce in the UK, an extremely low
unemployment rate at 1.5% and 42.6% of
the active working population are in senior
roles - many of which are located in the tech
industry.
12
According to the Tech Nation 2018
Report, Reading’s digital sector is
comprised of more than 58,000 jobs with
283 new digital tech companies founded
in the town.
13
Home to over eight times
the concentration of digital jobs compared
to the national average, Reading’s
connectivity with London and Heathrow
Airport is extremely signicant in attracting
global rms such as Microsoft and Dell.
KEY FINDINGS
Ranked one of the top 25 most attractive
cites for Foreign Direct Investment
Population of 275,000 including
surrounding urban areas
5th most qualied workforce
Extremely low unemployment rate of
1.5%
42.6% of the active working population are in
senior roles
Digital sector holds more than 58,000 jobs
Connectivity between London and Heathrow
Home to global rms such as Microsoft & Dell
For working professionals in the tech
sector, Reading is an incredibly tempting
oer and provides exceptional employment
opportunities without compromising
proximity to the capital. There’s no denying
that Berkshire’s digital sector is continuing
to grow even after 30 years, acclerating the
growth of UK technology and positioning
the country as a market leader.
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THAMES VALLEY
Future of the
UKs Silicon Valley
Looking ahead to the future of the
UK tech sector, established areas such
as Bracknell and Reading are expecting
continued growth as new markets emerge.
Bracknell experienced price rises of 19%
during 2018. Over the next three years, the
South East as a whole is set to outpace the
national average, growing by around 3%
each year to make up a cumulative 12%
increase by 2022. This will put Bracknell
at the heart of the fastest-growing region
in the UK, driven by new development
projects such as Princess Dock and The
Lexicon.
In the next few years, we’ll also begin to
see the foundations of the ‘Cambridge -
Milton Keynes - Oxford’ corridor, which is
aiming to be the UK’s newest ‘city region
by 2040, developing itself as a major tech
hub and expanding the ‘traditional’ tech
corridor.
Boasting four of the UKs fastest-
growing and most productive destinations,
a highly-skilled workforce, cutting edge
research facilities and technology clusters,
the Cambridge - Oxford corridor is also
supported by two-world class universities.
According to CBRE, it has the potential
to be ‘one of the largest economic and
property development schemes the UK
has ever seen.
14
There is a huge demand for premium
housing for the talented workforce that
is already present in the area, battling a
chronic undersupply of residential property
which will ensure sustainable growth and
set the stage for the next evolution of the
UK sector.
In the more immediate future, we’ll see
the emergence of smaller hotspots such
as Newbury, a Berkshire market town
that had the highest digital density of any
town or city in 2018.
15
Newbury is leading
the resurgence of the UK Tech Sector
hosting rms such as Vodafone and Micro
Focus, using the momentum of these
strong occupiers to position itself as an
investment hotspot.
14. https://www.cbre.co.uk/research-and-reports/our-cities/camkox-the-cambridge-milton-keynes-oxford-corridor
15. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/tech-workers-newbury-growth-vodafone-skilled-startups-a8356621.html
LIVERPOOL MANCHESTER
TOP 3 REGIONAL UK HOTSPOTS
FOR DIGITAL GVA
Over the next three years, the South
East as a whole is set to outpace the
national average, growing by around
3% each year to make up a cumulative
12% increase by 2022
£2.8b
£5.5b
£359m
UK’S SILICON VALLEY GUIDE
Guide Summary
While uncertainty is still a major aspect
of the UK property market in 2019, the UK’s
Silicon Valley looks set to benet from the
below-average performance of the London
market. As an investment opportunity, areas
such as Bracknell are growing in popularity
because of their relative aordability and
the abundance of both tenant demand and
employment opportunities available.
Similar to the rising popularity of the
commuter belt, the tech corridor is
showcasing large-scale regeneration to
attract inward investment from multiple
sources and all while expanding its
ambitious, young workforce.
The Private Rented Sector (PRS) is
forecasting huge growth by 2021, where
it’s predicted that nearly one in four
households will be renting rather than
having purchased. People choosing to rent
is a trend that towns such as Bracknell,
Reading and Newbury can take advantage
of, providing quality employment
opportunities and excellent amenities all in
close proximity, huge draws for any modern
tenant.
Connectivity remains a priority for the
tech corridor and projects such as Western
Rail Access and the new Heathrow runway
should be a huge signpost for investors,
demonstrating the demand from the
commuting demographic. The access
aorded by Heathrow shouldn’t be ignored
either, being in such close proximity to
an international hub is a priority for many
professionals and investors alike.
For investors that are looking for an up-
and-coming investment hotspot, the UK’s
Dubai
Oce 407
Emmar Square
Downtown Dubai
Dubai
Tel: 00971 509137602
Hong Kong
Oce 967,9F
Central Building
1-3 Pedder Street
Central
Hong Kong
Cape Town
4th Floor Harbour Place
7 Martin Hammerschlag Way
Forshore
Cape Town
8001
Tel: (852) 5241 9535 Tel: +27 66 287 7005
Birmingham
112 Colmore Row
Birmingham
B3 3AG
Tel: +44 (0) 121 296 1548
London
97 Park Lane
Mayfair
London
W1K 7TG
Tel: +44 (0) 207 659 4400
KEY FINDINGS
London’s below-average performance
is continuing to help drive growth in the
UK’s Silicon Valley
Key destinations in the UK Tech
Corridor are experiencing large-
scale regeneration to attract inward
investment
Connectivity remains a priority boosted
by Heathrow expansion and Crossrail
The Private Rented Sector (PRS) is still
forecasting huge growth by 2021, predicted
to hit 25% of the total housing market
UK’s Silicon Valley has the foundations
of a prime investment location – demand,
undersupply and exceptional employment
opportunities
Silicon Valley has all of the ingredients
to become a prime investment location
- consistent, strong demand, residential
undersupply and fantastic opportunities
across a bustling technology sector. With
the addition of infrastructure regeneration,
the foundations are in place for signicant
returns on investment.
While the region itself is established, the
continuing success of the UK tech industry
has truly put these towns and cities in the
investment spotlight. For investors, now is
the time to capitalise in an emerging market
that is experiencing unprecedented growth,
exceptional employment opportunities
and wider accessibility across the UK,
driving huge tenant demand that oers the
potential for excellent returns.