West Berkshire Council


About West Berkshire

West Berkshire is an area which offers beautiful countryside, thriving market towns and good transport links to London and southern England.

Covering 272 square miles, around 60% of our area is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and our countryside is as varied as it is plentiful. Around 40% of residents live in rural areas although there are plenty of opportunities for urban living as well. Newbury is the largest town in West Berkshire, although Hungerford, Pangbourne, Thatcham, Theale and Tilehurst are also significant communities along with suburbs bordering Reading in the east.

The area is characterised by chalk downlands, which are intersected by the River Kennet and the associated Kennet and Avon Canal which both run across the length of the area. We also have the river Thames to the north of the district.

West Berkshire has a population of 145,000 people with a significant proportion aged between 30 and 50 and a high proportion of couples living in the area, both with and without children. In West Berkshire we enjoy relatively low crime rates and education compares favourably with national trends.

The district is widely recognised as an area with a high concentration of high-tech firms and is home to companies such as Norsk Data, Quantel, Vodafone and the Atomic Weapons Establishment. 

West Berkshire has a thriving economy with one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, and is at the hub of what is often called 'Silicon Valley'.