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Business Eye: Aylesbury – My kind of town

Alex Pratt

Alex Pratt

  • by Alex Pratt, founder of Serious Readers in Bierton and chairman of Bucks Business First
 

Last week while enjoying the Rat Pack at the Waterside Theatre, Ol’ Blue Eyes launched into Chicago with a local twist…”My kinda town, Aylesbury is….”

It got me thinking why I’ve stayed here man and boy? After all we are not indentured and could move to other interesting places around the world. It really must be ‘my kinda town’, so what has Aylesbury got going for itself?

The best schools? Every playground may not be top of national league tables, but families do literally move here to give their kids a better chance at a great education. We export 19 in every 20 of our young people to a University somewhere else.

Then there’s the sheer convenience of the place. Where else is everything just a 5 minute walk away including the Chiltern Line, the best railway service into London? In under an hour we can be in the coolest city in the world or the busiest hub airport on the planet and yet we relax in the most beautiful countryside known to man.

Are you not also proud to be the birthplace of the Paralympics, home to the National Spinal Injuries centre and the County town of Buckinghamshire?

Olde Aylesbury around St Mary’s Church oozes charm, as do the many picturesque villages in the Vale making this area the most filmed part of the UK, but we are no backwater having built twice as many houses last year as either Birmingham or Liverpool, we always sit in the top tier of the economic growth tables and we enjoy a close relationship with the fastest growing town in Europe; Milton Keynes

But what I appreciate most is us; the people. We are workers; grafters. The world doesn’t owe us a living. We care, always get involved and are ambitious, even if retired.

As local job roles have plummeted we have taken Norman Tebbit to heart and peddled our bikes to work.

Despite the worst economic downturn in history, claimant count levels here have stayed flat around the notional full employment level of 2%, and we start more businesses than anywhere else.

So, apart from education, the best railway line, convenience, proximity to London, MK and Heathrow, outstanding countryside, one of the newest theatres in England, a strong resilient economy, a rich heritage, and the home of the Paralympics, what has Aylesbury ever done?

Friars Club, John Otway, Mark Webber, David Jason or Marillion?

 

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