By Daniel Hunter

The Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is delighted to announce that the region has been awarded several accolades in the European Cities and Regions of the Future 2012/13 Report by foreign Direct investment (fDi) Magazine.

Amongst the commendations, Reading has been named as the ‘Micro City of the Future’, a result of its top ranking in the overall micro city category. Slough was ranked as third best European Micro City for quality of life, behind only Luxembourg and Monaco, and named as the best European micro city for infrastructure.

The Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce put forward the submissions on behalf of Reading and Slough to fDi Magazine, part of the Financial Times Group, which carries out the research every two years. Micro cites are defined as having a population of less that 250,000. Data was collected from 253 European cities and 110 European regions across six categories: economic potential, human resources, cost effectiveness, quality of life, infrastructure and business friendliness.

“This is excellent news for Berkshire, and we are thrilled that fDi Magazine’s research recognises our region’s many benefits for both individuals and businesses," Steve Lamb, Chair of the Thames Valley Berkshire LEP, commented.

"The results support our belief here at the LEP that Berkshire is the best place to live and work, and an attractive place to do business. Its fantastic for Reading and Slough to be commended alongside cites such as London and Paris, and to have performed so well. We are committed to building on successes such as these, by ensuring collaboration for future growth across the whole of Berkshire.”

fDi Magazine’s research found that total foreign direct investment in Europe in 2011 fell by more that 7%; but despite this competitive climate, Reading and Slough have secured their positions as being some of the best places to live and work not only in the UK, but across the whole of Europe. With its ease of access to Heathrow, Slough was further recognised as having the third best overall infrastructure across European cities of any size.

The thriving economy and attractiveness to business of the Thames Valley Berkshire region is underlined by its recognition in the Human Resources category where it was ranked as the third best region in all of Europe, highlighting the wealth of talent the region has. Both Reading and Slough were recommended in the most business friendly cities category, coming 3rd and 9th respectively. The South East Region was named as the best large region in Europe, and the 2nd overall in all regions.

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