Bracknell Employment Forecast 2019
- Bracknell employment forecast sits at 86% compared to UK average of 78%
- Berkshire Thames Valley LEP expected to create 9,050 jobs by March 2021
- South-East forecast to be one of the fastest-growing regions in the UK
Encompassing 42 sq.miles of land within the Thames Valley, Bracknell Forest is home to a population of around 120,000, 70,000 of which are economically active. With one of the highest employment rates in the country currently sitting at 86% compared to the 78% UK average, Bracknell is a buoyant economy driven by a number of forward-thinking digital businesses. This has created a positive outlook for the wider Bracknell employment forecast 2019.
As of last year, Bracknell Forest had just over 5,400 businesses across the landscape, with the majority located in the professional, scientific and technical sectors. A large majority of these businesses are identified as ‘micro’, made up of zero to nine employees, a demographic that has seen the biggest increases over the last seven years and now makes up 86% of the total sector.
On the opposite end of the scale are businesses with over 250 employees, categorised as ‘large companies’. Nearly 35 of these are active in the Bracknell area and include brands such as Dell and 3M, with the latter estimated to have around 700 employees based in their Berkshire HQ.
As of 2016, the two most-populated sectors in Bracknell were ‘professional, scientific and technical’ along with ‘wholesale and retail trade’. By 2026, it’s expected that ‘real estate activities’, traditionally a smaller sector in Bracknell, will see employment levels rise by 250%. This is in part due to the exciting development pipeline that is changing the residential and commercial landscape.
Bracknell’s economic and employment forecast is also being heavily affected by the ‘Bracknell Vision’ regeneration throughout the town centre. Creating a vibrant, exciting destination for the wider Thames Valley as a whole, The Lexicon has contributed to an annual footfall of nearly 16 million. According to FSP Retail Business Consultants, Bracknell Town Centre is now the retail destination of choice for 66% of residents, up from the original figure of 17% taken weeks after The Lexicon opened.
This demonstrates the huge demand driven by The Lexicon, which created around 3,500 jobs within the retail sector for Bracknell.
In the Berkshire Thames Valley LEP Delivery Plan, it’s expected that improvements to infrastructure will create 9,050 jobs by March 2021, while 3,520 have actually been created during 2019. Similarly, the plan is expected to assist with 403 apprenticeships by March 2021, improving on the 189 already available. Within the ‘business environment’, 1,096 jobs will be created or safeguarded by the LEP Delivery Plan over the next two years.
Thames Valley Berkshire is also dedicated to raising the skill level of the ‘UK’s most productive sub-region’ through skills, education and employment programmes. From ‘Elevate Berkshire’ – a program addressing the skills gaps and unemployment of 16 – 24-year-olds – to Care Skills Training at Reading College, there is plenty of investment being funnelled into increasing the education and knowledge base of Berkshire residents.
Going forward, it’s vital that Bracknell continues to invest in the infrastructure to meet rising demand. By creating new opportunities and high-quality commercial space, Bracknell is ensuring that it can accommodate rising employment levels across the market.
For investors, this is creating a prime opportunity within Bracknell, as the need for high-quality executive apartments is higher than ever to meet the rising demand from professional tenants. With a long-term pipeline of investment planned for the town creating new and exciting developments, investors should consider getting in on the ground floor of an emerging investment location within the UK’s fastest-growing region.