One location that continues to have steady economic growth despite Brexit and its related uncertainties is Oxford. The city and surrounding communities have become popular for start-up firms and larger established businesses.
Mr Nigel Tipple speaking with the Oxford Mail said: "In Oxfordshire we have continued to grow our economy dynamically, with the creation of 45,000 new jobs over the past five years.’
‘This represents more than 50 per cent of our 2031 target of 85,600 new jobs and, perhaps more importantly, provides our businesses with the capacity to rise to the challenge of a post-Brexit economy.’
‘In addition to this we have also seen the number of VAT-registered businesses in the county go up by 8.5 per cent between 2014 and 2016.’
As locations like Oxford grow so does the need for accommodating residents with the rising housing demand. One concern is the ability to keep fresh talent from its well known universities to remain locally. For the 2014-2015 school year Oxford graduates comprised 18% that remained in the area. In the same period London retained 77% and Manchester 52% of their graduating students.
Like the rest of Britain costs and shortages of available housing are no different for Oxford. A recent Savills report states that for all of the homes constructed in Oxfordshire in the past five years only 10% were in Oxford even as Oxford city accounted for 42% of the job growth.
The Oxfordshire Growth Board (OGB) says ‘development capacity and housing need in Oxford and identified a shortfall of 15,000 homes.’
For now two developments are expected to help start meeting the housing and office space shortfalls.
One new development and one of the areas largest in recent memory is Barton Park with the construction of 885 homes to the east of the local boundary. The second being constructed is the Oxford North mixed use development that plans on providing 500 homes and 1million sq ft of new office space. An important part to these properties is the transport connection to the city centre from the A40/34 and the Oxford Parkway rail station that also provides connections to London Marylebone and Bicester stations.
A new East-West Rail service will link Milton Keynes and Bedford by 2020 with plans for direct connections for Oxford to Cambridge.
Network Rail has created a masterplan for redevelopment of the Oxford Rail station buildings with rail lines for passengers and freight but is currently unfunded.
Other developments include a mixed use of a social science and business quarter at Oxford Island and Worcester Street Car Park to coincide with Oxpens with Nutfield College for a mixed use 500 bed student residence with new homes, retail, leisure, a hotel and office space.
The £440 million development of Westgate is expected to be completed by October 2017 with 1million sq ft of retail and leisure space. A John Lewis store, 59 apartments and two public squares are planned.
Oxford University is developing Osney Mead a 20 year project that will develop a 17 hectare estate into a knowledge park, laboratories and 600 priced for students and faculty.
As the Oxford continues to upgrade it transportation needs and attract more venture capital for business Savills predicts: ‘Venture capital (VC) investment is essential for developing young businesses and encouraging new occupiers into the area. Oxford has received more than £1.7 billion of VC investment since 2015, exceeding that received by Cambridge and Reading combined.’