Ambitious plan to make Henley-on-Thames the best town in the world

An ambitious plan has been launched to try to make Henley-on-Thames the best town in the world to live, work and visit by 2030.  The Henley Business Plan, which has been published by Henley’s Town Team, outlines a long-term approach to bringing investment and visitors to the town.

The plan – which is currently in draft form – aims to build on the town’s already strong reputation by identifying four key themes that projects should support:-

• attracting world class businesses
• celebrating world class arts, culture and events
• retaining and increasing local spending in retail, tourism and hospitality
• investing in transport, environment and infrastructure

A number of key projects that will be taken forward under these themes over the next five years include making improvements to artisan markets, encouraging and facilitating investment in Henley Market Place Mews and in the employment sites identified in Henley Neighbourhood Plan, and developing a marketing strategy to promote Henley as a worldwide brand.

The work will also see the launch of a free town centre Wi-Fi service, projects to address car parking and transport issues in the town, stronger links between employers and skills providers, closer relationships between the town’s retail and visitor industries to encourage cross promotion and a greater variety of events, greater support to encourage business development, work to encourage hotel investment in the area, and creating a wider awareness of what Henley has to offer.  Henley will benefit from a share of the £150,000 investment that South Oxfordshire District Council has set aside for ‘town and village infrastructure’ projects, as well as project funding available to Henley to deliver its annual action plan.  However the long-term vision will enable the Town Team to apply for funding from other partners.

Cllr Judith Nimmo-Smith, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Property at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “Henley-on-Thames already has a very strong reputation around the world, however by 2030 we want the town to be regarded as the very best place to work, live and visit.

“To achieve that we need to have a long term strategy in place with everyone pushing in the same direction.  The new business plan provides us with a great opportunity and I encourage people to take a look at it and then join is in trying to make this vision become a reality.”

Comments on the plan are welcomed, please email the Economic Development team.

Businesses thinking about Henley as a potential location for their business should also contact the Economic Development team who can help with the provision of data, search for commercial property or land and advise on a wide range of business matters.

The Henley Town Team is comprised of the Henley Partnership, key businesses in the town, Oxfordshire County Council, South Oxfordshire District Council and Henley Town Council