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Oxford Airport is at the heart of
the European Hi-Tech Capital
Oxford Airport lies right in the middle of one of the most vibrant and fasting-growing regions in the UK. The dynamic and innovative local economy is one of the most successful amongst all regions in Europe with significant growth in the science, technology and research sectors. Also centred amongst key players in the publishing, education, healthcare and the motor industry, Oxford is playing an increasingly pivotal role in the southern UK economy and is both logistically and demographically an excellent base in which to consider establishing a new business, or indeed for relocation from elsewhere in the UK or Europe. For international companies, residential costs are considerably lower than ‘London’ alternatives and yet the UK capital is just under an hour’s ride by train.

The ‘Oxford’ name both as a brand and location carries a great deal of kudos and has instant international recognition, instantly associated with the origins of English education and research as the home of the world’s oldest English speaking University. The huge growth in high value added, knowledge-based industries stands as testament to the lure of ‘Oxford’ as the place to be based in a global market for high technology goods and services.

At the bottom of the page are a number of useful links to local authority and business-oriented sites that may be of use in determining how this might be the place to base your business.

As for a few pointers on why Oxford Airport, and Kidlington specifically, could be the place for your business, consider some of these facts:

Catchment Area

  • Equidistant between London and the UK’s industrial centre (Birmingham and the Midlands) - 10% of UK population (5.8m) in under 60 mins drive (excluding western London)
  • In 30 years (to 2001) Oxfordshire’s population has grown by 50% compared with the 12% England average
  • Oxford city attracts the 6th highest number of international visitors in the UK (7m+), second only to London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow
  • The area within a one hour radius of Oxford sees more overseas staying visits than all of Scotland and Wales put together
  • Oxfordshire alone receives 28 times more staying visits than the Channel Islands
  • The M40 motorway, one of the less congested of the London arterial routes, brings easy access to areas from North Surrey to Solihull within a sub-1 hour drive
  • Principle catchment area towns include: Oxford, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Swindon, High Wycombe, Reading, Leamington Spa/Warwick, Banbury, Slough, Cheltenham, Newbury, Aylesbury, Hemel Hempstead, Witney, Bicester, Bletchley, Maidenhead, Abingdon, Beaconsfield, Amersham
Local & Regional Economy
  • Oxfordshire is the highest-ranked region for high-tech services in the EU
  • Oxfordshire is the fastest growing high-tech region in the UK
  • Oxfordshire’s GDP per capita is amongst the top 10 European sub regions (counties)
  • Oxfordshire economy measured by Gross Value Added per head is 5% higher than UK average
  • The Oxford–Cambridge Arc region is acknowledged as being the European Hi-tech Capital for Knowledge-based industries
  • Oxfordshire hosts over 1,400 high-tech companies employing over 37,000 people
  • In 2005, 40% of new office lets were to the Science and Technology sector in Oxfordshire
  • Oxford city hosts over 5m sq.ft. of factory accommodation and the University of Oxford occupies over 4.5m sq.ft. of administrative, teaching and research accommodation
  • BMW Mini, based in Oxford, built over 200,000 new minis in 2005, employing 4,500 people and have invested well over £400m in the Oxford plant since 2001
  • A key UK centre for bio-pharma, healthcare, science, research, education, automotive design, manufacturing and engineering and publishing industries
  • Oxfordshire forms part of the most successful region of Europe (Oxon, Beds and Bucks) with the fastest predicted growth – 4% per annum for the next 5 years, double the EU average, heading a list of 215 of the best-performing European regions (source: Experian, Aug. 04)
  • Oxfordshire county has a higher qualified workforce than either England or the South East region as a whole
  • Tourism is hugely significant to Oxford with 9.6 million night stays and £523 million spent by visitors (2003 UK Tourism Survey / International Passenger Survey) of which ‘business’ tourism accounts for 25% of all trips and 31% of total spend
  • Centered within one of the most visited areas of the UK outside of London, Oxford lies roughly within an hour of the Cotswolds region, Stratford-upon-Avon, Bath, Warwick and Windsor
  • Oxford Airport’s Cherwell district – has seen the 2nd largest percentage increase in new job creation over last decade of 150 UK local authorities surveyed
  • Half of Oxford’s workforce live outside its boundary - an indication of Oxford’s increasing prosperity and business growth
  • Oxfordshire has had the lowest unemployment of any county in UK

Local Transport & Infrastructure

Several industrial parks are located
close to Oxford Airport
The Faraday Partnership at nearby Begbroke
Oxford Airport is surrounded by expanding business parks with excellent new and refurbished industrial and office facilities including: Langford Business Park, Spires Business Park, Oxford Motor Park, Oxford Industrial Park, Begbroke Business & Science Park and the proposed Oxford Distribution Park – all within 2 miles.
  • Serves the Thames Valley via M40 corridor – the least congested London arterial route in South East
  • Oxford Airport is accessed directly by adjacent dual carriageways (A34/A44), 8 miles from the M40
  • Oxford Airport is just 40 miles to the M25 motorway (Greater London)
  • Only 18 miles further from London (W1 area) than Luton airport and only 10 minutes further than Stansted Airport
  • Four car hire companies over road from Oxford Airport
  • There are several local taxi and ‘executive’ car services next to airport
  • Buses every 15 minutes to Oxford City from the airport
  • Oxford – Heathrow / Gatwick bus shuttles every 30 minutes, 24 hrs a day
  • Over 90 central London bus services every day, typically every 10 minutes, 24 hrs a day – tickets as little as £1.50!
  • Highest ratio of bus services/capita of any UK city
  • New ‘guided bus’ system has been proposed from Kidlington to Oxford – 10 minutes
  • There are 3 rail stations within 5 miles of the airport and Oxford City station within 6 miles
  • A new, main line Kidlington rail station has been proposed (2006/2007) within 10 minutes walk
  • Trains generally every 10 minutes to London – many taking under an hour
  • Fast 47 minute train service to London Paddington – a day-return Travelcard costing as little as £17
  • Rail routes to whole of UK can be accessed from Oxford City station

See Also:

Oxford, Silverstone & Formula 1


Business Links:

Cherwell District Council – Business Page
West Oxon Business Development
West Oxon Business Support
Cherwell-M40 Investment Partnership
The Oxford Economic Partnership
Thames Business Advice Centre
Kidlington – Local Information
Touch Oxford – Local Directory
Oxford On-line – Business Page
This is Oxfordshire – Business Page
Oxfordshire County Council – Business Page
Oxfordshire Business Enterprises (OBE)

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