A UNESCO world heritage site and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Oxford is a famous city with an impressive history. It’s home to a world-leading university, as well as a high proportion of tech-focussed companies championing innovation. This is your ultimate guide to franchising in Oxford.
The University of Oxford is known around the world, and lays the foundations for the city’s thriving business scene, fuelled by skilled workers. The region is part of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, a highly productive corridor employing over two million people and contributing more than £110 billion to the UK economy every year.
Oxford itself generates £23 billion GVA and has reported an average year-on-year growth rate of 3.9 percent in nominal terms since 2006. As a result, the region topped PwC’s Good Growth for Cities report in 2021, which takes into account a number of factors, including employment, health, income and skills.
An overview of Oxford
There are around 678,000 people living in Oxford, and over 31,000 registered businesses up and running. In the past decade alone, more than 48,000 new jobs have been created.
The city has a slightly younger population than the UK in general, and a higher proportion of working-age people. Residents have an average age of 40, while the England and Wales figure sits at 40.3, and 62.9 percent are between 16 and 64 years old, compared to 62.3.
In Oxford, people tend to earn more than in other areas of the UK. Average salaries range from £35,600 in Cherwell to £46,100 in Vale of White Horse, while Brits in general make an average of £38,600.
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Reflecting the city’s higher income brackets, Oxford’s property prices are also slightly higher than the UK average. Houses sell for £428,000 on average, while buyers in England and Wales tend to part with around £314,000.
The city is home to The University of Oxford, the top-performing university on the planet, as well as Oxford Brookes, which is consistently ranked highly for its teaching and research. Thanks to this focus on education, more than half of Oxford’s population has at least one university degree.
Oxford is also well-connected, with direct links to the capital and many other cities. It takes an hour to get to London Paddington by train and, by car, you can get to Bristol in an hour and a half and Cambridge in two hours. You can also drive to Heathrow Airport in around 50 minutes.
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Running your own business in Oxford
The city is home to many world-leading businesses, particularly across its sector specialisms. If you’re interested in franchising in Oxford, you might want to consider investing in some of the region’s most productive areas:
- Life sciences - The city has one of the most successful life sciences clusters in Europe, and almost six percent of its population are employed in the sector. Oxford demonstrated its expertise during the Covid-19 pandemic, when it worked in diagnostics and treatment research and led clinical trials. The city’s Churchill Hospital also administered the first Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in January 2021.
- Creative and digital - In Oxford, this sector is made up of almost 4,000 businesses and 22,000 employees, and generates around £1.4 billion for the UK economy. In fact, it’s been growing significantly in recent years and, between 2010 and 2016, expanded by 45 percent, becoming the fastest-growing industry in the region. The sub-sectors with the highest number of businesses include IT software, performing arts, film, television, radio and photography.
- Technology - Oxford is leading the way when it comes to technology, and has specialisms across a variety of different fields. You’ll find 1,500 high-tech companies in the city, including some ‘unicorn’ start-ups now valued at over $1 billion. Within the technology industry, Oxford businesses have achieved widespread success in quantum computing and robotics and autonomous systems (RAS), such as the connected autonomous vehicle (CAV).
- Space technology - Oxford is particularly productive in this area, and plays a major role in the UK and European space industry. Harwell Science and Innovation Campus is one of the city’s most important facilities, as it houses more than 90 businesses, making it the biggest space cluster on the continent. The impressive centre employs around 5,500 people and is just a half-hour drive from Oxford University.
- Automotive and motorsports - Several high-profile organisations in the motorsport industry have been established in Oxford. The city is home to internationally recognised names like Williams F1, Renault Sport F1 and Prodrive, alongside supply chain firms including Lentus and the BMW MINI manufacturing hub.
- Energy - This is another lucrative industry for the city, as there are around 30 businesses and research organisations up and running across both the public and private sectors. The Faraday Institution at Harwell and The Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) are just two of the high-performing firms in Oxford.
- Retail - Oxford has an impressive array of shops, and its many tourists generate extra revenue for the city’s retail sector, particularly in the centre. Millions of people also travel from miles around to find money-saving deals at Bicester Village’s 160 luxury retailers. The multi-million-pound Westgate Oxford and Lock 29 shopping centres also attract a high number of customers.
Franchising in Oxford
As a city channeling innovation and ground-breaking research, with easy access to London, Oxford is a fantastic place to start running your own business. It also hosts a variety of events for aspirational entrepreneurs, such as The Get Connected Business Expo, which welcomes business owners from as far afield as Wiltshire and Warwickshire.
By opting to pursue franchising in Oxford, you’ll have the chance to take advantage of the extensive business infrastructure already in place in the city. So, what franchises are there in Oxford? Take a look at our selection of high-quality investment opportunities on offer right now.
*Statistics taken from Plumplot.co.uk and OxfordshireLEP.com
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©