Blog: Record success for Oxfordshire businesses

We’ve known for years that Oxfordshire is the best place to be, but it seems that more companies than ever before are being drawn to the county as the best place to grow or start their businesses. New figures from Invest in Oxfordshire, a service from Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP), show an unprecedented number of businesses have chosen Oxfordshire as their base over the past 12 months.

Invest in Oxfordshire is an inward investment service that supports businesses with a range of tools, including identifying commercial premises, staff relocation, connections with other businesses and support with recruitment and training.

Over the last year, Invest in Oxfordshire, together with other inward investment partners, has created or safeguarded 1,688 jobs in the county with 106 businesses. These roles span the full range of key industries in the county, demonstrating strength across the board for Oxfordshire business. The automotive and advanced engineering sectors have led this job creation accounting for 463 jobs, followed by 281 in the tourism and leisure sector and 250 in both life sciences and retail businesses.

Going some way towards allaying post-Brexit fears, companies based in Oxfordshire are certainly thriving. The majority of this success has resulted from expansion, with one in two businesses growing in the county (53%); nearly a third of the jobs created are due to new start-ups in Oxfordshire. The figures are an indication of the current strength in key parts of the UK economy and give hope of our ability to compete on a global stage as we begin to set our own agenda independent from the European Union. Around half of the inward investment has come from UK based companies (53%), with European, North American and Asian companies also continuing to show considerable interest in investing in Oxfordshire.

This has been a record year in terms of success for the Invest in Oxfordshire team at OxLEP, who have received over 140% of their target number of enquiries and exceeded the target for job creation and safeguarding by 80%. With a strong workforce, solid supply network, diverse range of commercial properties and range of support services on our doorstep, Oxfordshire continues to appeal to a variety of businesses, both big and small and across a number of sectors. This can only be good news for the local economy, resulting in more and better jobs for our workforce, but also reinforces Oxfordshire’s vital position at the very heart of UK business.

If you’re an Oxfordshire business leader, we’d like to hear your views to create a snapshot of business performance. This issue of the Business Barometer survey puts the spotlight on Brexit, in order to understand how business leaders view the decision to leave the EU. Business leaders who are interested in participating can access the on-line survey here: http://www.oxfordshirelep.org.uk/node/3879.

Alternatively, if you’d like more information on how OxLEP can help your business invest in Oxfordshire visit: http://www.oxfordshirelep.org.uk/content/invest-in-oxfordshire

Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive