Oxford City Council

PO Box 10, Oxford, OX1 1EN
Tel 01865 249811
Web http://www.oxford.gov.uk/

Business &

Economic Profile of Oxford

Economic Statistics

Oxford is central to the economy of Oxfordshire and the surrounding area and is home to approximately 158,000 residents, 4,300 businesses providing 104,000 jobs and 9 million tourists who visit the city each year. Seven of the ten largest employers in Oxfordshire are based in Oxford. 89% of employees work in services, including 19% in retail, hotel and catering. There is a high level of in-commuting, with about half of Oxford's workforce living outside its boundary.

In 2015 Oxford City Council commissioned Ipsos MORI to conduct a survey of Small and Medium sized businesses across the Oxford area. The results are available as a presentation, an executive summary, or as a full report.

PDF icon Oxford Business Survey 2015 Executive Summary (PDF) 
PDF icon Oxford Business Survey 2015 Report (PDF)
PDF icon Oxford Business Survey 2015 Presentation (PDF)

For more statistics on the Oxford population and economy, please visit our Economic Statistics page.

Investment in Oxford

Located at the heart of the country, Oxford is less than 90 minutes away from London, Birmingham and the Thames Valley, providing superb access to international gateways that support globally competitive businesses. The Oxford - Cambridge Arc provides linkages with the growth potential of Milton Keynes and our fellow seat of academic learning in Cambridge, while the supply chains associated with 'Motorsport Valley' extend to the north and south.

Contact our Economic Development team on 01865 252143 to discuss your requirements.

All enquiries are handled professionally and confidentially. The aim is to take a professional partnership approach to attracting and connecting international and national businesses with the benefits of Oxford.

Development Profile of Oxford

Oxford is renowned as an academic, motor manufacturing and tourist centre, however this perception masks other key features of the local economy. These other key features include:

  • the bioscience sector
  • an ever-increasing number of IT, software and creative media businesses
  • research and development businesses developed by Oxford's universities

The research and development strengths of the city, a result of the strong research bases at Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University, continue to attract interest from US and Far East companies seeking a European base.

BMW has invested a considerable amount into modernising its Oxford plant at Cowley for production of the new Mini.

There are many opportunities in Oxford for start-up and spin-off businesses. Visit our Business Premises page for more information.

Commercial Areas

The majority of Oxford's major employers are based in the city centre, on industrial estates or on one of Oxford's most prestigious business locations; the Oxford Business Park and the Oxford Science Park.

Oxford City Centre The focus for retail and tourism in Oxfordshire and the surrounding region, the City Centre provides the base for the University of Oxford and its colleges together with local authority functions and employers such as Oxford University Press and Blackwell's Book Shop.

The main streets - Cornmarket, Queen, Broad, George and the High Street to name but a few - and the Westgate and the Clarendon shopping centres comprise a diverse range of businesses. Retailers range from the nationals such as Debenhams, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury's, HMV and Primark to smaller independent retailers, many of whom are based in the historic Covered Market - owned and managed by Oxford City Council.

 Oxford Business Park
Comprising 88 acres, the Oxford Business Park provides sites and premises for a range of key Oxford businesses. Developed by Arlington, it is well located on the south-eastern edge of the city, adjacent to the Oxford ring road with fast links to London, Heathrow and the Midlands via the M40.
 Oxford Science Park Developed as a joint venture between Magdalen College, Oxford and Prudential Assurance, the Oxford Science Park is home to over 40 businesses. Developed as a true Science Park it provides an attractive environment for science and technology companies.
  Garsington Road / Watlington Road This industrial area around the southeast of the city boasts the headquarters of two of Oxford's major employers, BMW Mini and Unipart.

The Mini site is the sole plant for the manufacture of this prestigious car and has enjoyed major investment in the last few years. The Unipart group, established in 1987 as a result of a management buyout and one of the largest private companies in the UK, is a local success story with global presence.

Horspath Industrial Estate Located to the east of the city, adjacent to the ring road and next door to the BMW factory.
Osney Mead An estate developed in the 1960's, located close to the city centre and just five minutes walk from the railway station.

Osney Mead Limited manages the estate, providing high quality office space on a pre-let basis.

Jordan Hill Located on the northern edge of the city, the site is the UK headquarters for Harcourt Education, the educational division of Reed Elsevier plc.

Major Employers

The list below indicates the major employers in Oxford. Visit our Support Organisations page for a list of key businesses, and other key partners supporting business development in Oxford.

Oxford's major employers include:

  • BMW (UK) Manufacturing Ltd., manufacturers of the new Mini One, Mini Cooper and Mini Cooper S
  • Unipart Group of Companies, one of Europe's leading independent logistics, automotive parts and accessories companies. UGC includes Unipart International, Unipart DCM, Partco Group, and Unipart Advanced Learning Systems
  • University of Oxford, higher education institution whose colleges provide undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral education and a range of business and research support services
  • Oxford Brookes University, higher education institution providing undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral education and provides specialist research and consultancy support to businesses and promotes and supports entrepreneurship
  • Newsquest (Oxfordshire) Ltd, local newspaper publisher of the Oxford Mail, Oxford Times and Oxford Star.
  • Oxford Bus Company, operator of local Oxford bus services, including the local Park & Ride service, and Oxford Espress route to and from London, Heathrow and Gatwick
  • Oxford University Press, a department of the University of Oxford, OUP furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide
  • Oxford Radcliffe Hospital NHS Trust, Oxford's main provider of healthcare, including healthcare research, teaching and training. In Oxford its hospitals include the John Radcliffe Hospital, the Churchill Hospital and the Radcliffe Infirmary
  • Oxfordshire County Council, local authority for Oxfordshire, including the Local Education Authority






Page last updated 4 August 2015


Superfast broadband connection vouchers offer

How do you rate this page?

rate this page as GOOD rate this page as AVERAGE rate this page as POOR
What's this?

Trade Waste Advert

Facebook  Twitter  RSS icon


Do it online

Contact Us

Self service: Online services | Telephone: 01865 249811 | Where to find our offices

Copyright © 2015 Oxford City Council, Town Hall, St Aldate's, Oxford, OX1 1BX.
Designed and hosted by Oxford Information Labs Limited.