South Oxfordshire has been described as a ‘global hotspot’ for enterprise and innovation after new figures revealed the district to have more businesses than any other in the county.
The new leader of South Oxfordshire District Council praised the region’s firms as the number of companies across the county reached 40,000, with many of them based in the south of the county.
Pointing to the ‘world class’ Science Vale and the ongoing Didcot Garden Town project, Jane Murphy said South Oxfordshire, which has more than 9,000 businesses, is ‘an attractive place’ to do business.
She said: “We have a great track record in South Oxfordshire of welcoming new business and doing all we can to make the district an attractive place to do business.
“The district has good transport links with Oxford and London and is part of Science Vale UK, a global hotspot for enterprise and innovation that attracts world-class research, development and manufacturing businesses.”
Cllr Murphy, officially unveiled as John Cotton’s replacement last Thursday, is excited by the garden town project which will create an estimated 20,000 jobs over the next 20 years. The project will be seen as the ‘gateway’ to the Science Vale, she added.
OxLEP chief executive Nigel Tipple said projects such as the Didcot Garden Town are helping South Oxfordshire grow.
He added: “The creation of garden towns with its associated infrastructure, is a positive sign of Oxfordshire striking the right balance between place-making and productivity.”
According to secretarial software firm Inform Direct, there were 40,124 businesses registered in the county at the end of March.
Most of those businesses are based in South Oxfordshire (9,119 businesses), which is followed by Cherwell (8,780) and Oxford (8,092).
There were 4,612 new companies registered in the county during 2017, a slight improvement on the 4,517 in 2016.
This increase bucked the national trend which saw an overall reduction in new company formations.
John Korchak, director of operations at Inform Direct, said: “Oxfordshire had an impressive year in 2017 which has continued into 2018, passing the 40,000 milestone for the first time in its history.
“This shows that it offers a positive environment for business – both in terms of new start-ups and existing companies.
“Oxfordshire has become an important hub for science and technology with companies attracted by the existing portfolio of businesses already located there”