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About Wokingham Borough

About Wokingham Borough

Our borough

Wokingham Borough offers high quality of life with good schools and long life expectancies.

The area is diverse made up of 17 parishes and towns with different characters. It's a blend of countryside and town with history, leisure facilities and up-to-date facilities. 

The Wokingham area had the highest rate of business growth in the UK over the past 15 years according to Thames Valley Enterprise. This is reflected by a mix of local market trading and big business.

Much of the University of Reading is also within Wokingham Borough. 

There is a strong regional economy dominated by the IT, communications and pharmaceutical sectors. Businesses are attracted by good communication links to London, Heathrow and the motorway network.

Major international companies such as Oracle, Microsoft, BG Group, Johnson and Johnson, Jacobs and Foster Wheeler are located in the borough.

Business continues to strengthen with the growth of new business developments at Winnersh IQ, Suttons Industrial Park and The Thameside Business and Country Park at Thames Valley Business Park. There have also been small-scale office developments around the borough.

Problems include labour supply and skills shortage, high housing costs and transportation difficulties.

There is low level of unemployment.

More than 57% of Wokingham’s working population are in higher managerial or professional occupations.

We serve a population of 151,000 people (2011 Census). We employ just over 3000 staff. More than half of our staff work in our schools.

80% of the adult population of Wokingham are owner occupiers and there is a high proportion of detached housing when compared to other areas. 

44.6% of household spaces are detached, compared to 26.5% in Berkshire overall and 22.9% in England and Wales. There is an average amount of semi-detached housing and a lower proportion of terraced housing, purpose-built flats and other household spaces.

According to the 2011 census fewer than 4% of households include lone parents with dependent children.

The ethnic minority population has increased over the last decade with 11.9% of the population being non-white.

A study published by the School of Advanced Urban Studies at Bristol University found Wokingham the least deprived borough in England.

The 2011 census found Wokingham to have the 5th highest number of people in good health.

Ownership of cars/vans is the highest in the country with only 9% of households without a car or van.

A survey by Halifax in October 2007 revealed that residents’ average weekly earnings are in the top 5% at £744 a week. Residents’ health, low crime rates and carbon emissions were also judged, concurring with research showing that we are one of the least deprived boroughs in England.

During the 1980s Wokingham was the second fastest growth area in the country behind Milton Keynes

From 2006 to 2016 there will 13,000 new homes built in the area.

The challenge facing the borough is to balance the need for housing development against the protection of the environment.

Wokingham borough lacks brownfield sites and protected areas compared with other parts of Berkshire.

We have a clear commitment to growth and aim to build 13,500 new homes by 2026. This includes 10,000 new homes on 4 Strategic Development Locations (SDLs). These Strategic Development Locations will allow development of new homes with provision of physical and community infrastructure. They won't simply meet housing targets but provide new sustainable urban communities.

There are also 2,900 council houses spread throughout the borough. They are generally in a good state of repair and there are no concentrated areas of deprivation.

With housing growth we are also regenerating Wokingham town centre to make sure it has the facilities needed to meet the needs of the increased population.

We want to give Wokingham a town centre with a better range of national and local shops and facilities.

To find out more see the Regeneration Company website for Wokingham.

With an increase in population investment in school places and infrastructure is needed. New primary and secondary school building will be necessary.

More elderly and frail people will require further investment in care services. Increasing costs mean we need to find new ways to provide care. We must support people to stay safely in their own homes for longer.

Our increased housing pressures must be balanced. We also want to maintain the environment and character of the area.

Our ethnic minority population is small but growing. A consequence of living in an affluent area can be exclusion of smaller groups. We must be aware of this and help maintain social cohesion.

With high levels of car ownership we need to find ways of easing traffic congestion. We must find alternative travel solutions with partners.

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