Connect with us


Why The Berkshire Town Reading Has Become A Sought-After Place To Live

Ricky Gervais has made a career out of poking fun at the world. Yet he saves his most disdainful one-liners for his home town of Reading.

Asked on chat shows about his youth, he invariably replies that he was brought up in the Berkshire town, before adding with his trademark smirk: ‘That’s why I never go back there.’

Yet the town that Gervais disparages bears little resemblance to today’s Reading. ‘Independent businesses have flocked to the town in the past ten years,’ says Glen Dinning, who owns Blue Collar, a street food pop-up.

‘Now the town is full of brilliant bars, breweries, restaurants, cafes and art shops.’

Rejuvenated: Reading’s historic centre with the Old Town Hall, left, has pulled in many independent businesses over the past ten years

Rejuvenated: Reading’s historic centre with the Old Town Hall, left, has pulled in many independent businesses over the past ten years

The Oracle Centre, bisected by the canal, is the shopping hub while pedestrianised Broad Street has dozens of familiar names, from Primark to John Lewis.

The old enhances the new in the pretty Forbury Gardens and the beautifully restored lido.

The driving force behind the Reading renaissance is transport. Commuters are a 15-minute train ride from Paddington or can take the new Elizabeth line into Central London.

Reading is also well placed for Bristol, Manchester and Oxford and there are direct trains to Gatwick airport.

Crucially, so many new big-name companies have moved to the nearby M4 corridor — the likes of Microsoft, Amazon and Virgin Media — that it carries the tag of the Silicon Valley of the UK.

Residential developers have designed their homes with young professionals in mind. Ebb & Flow, for example, are two blocks of rental apartments, making 598 in total, on the Station Hill development.

At the entrance, there’s a large, hotel-style foyer, with booths for working online. Upstairs, space is given over to a yoga studio, gym, and TV and cinema rooms.

The apartments, only five minutes from the station, are furnished by Conran and cost about £2,400 a month for a two-bed and £1,200 for a studio.

Some may baulk at these prices (the two-bed measures only 899 sq ft and the studio 214 sq ft) but that’s to miss the point.

The free amenities make up a fair chunk of the rental. ‘This is more than an apartment block,’ says community manager Michael McGarry. ‘It’s a community of like-minded people.’

Green Park Village is similarly ambitious. Located on the edge of town alongside the M4, the 60-acre site is approached through a jumble of ugly retail parks.

Suddenly there are shiny white New England-style homes and apartment blocks. It has everything a family could need, including a primary school, a fitness centre, restaurants, a swimming pool and a lake.

This ‘oven-ready’ village’s USP is its situation. Trains from its new station get to Reading in six minutes. A four-bed terraced house costs from £550,000.

You get far more house for your money in Caversham, just across the river and the area south of the centre, around the university.

Expect to pay £450,000 for a three-bedroom home in Caversham.

Good value: Caversham is just across the river from the centre of Reading and offers 'more house for your money'

Good value: Caversham is just across the river from the centre of Reading and offers ‘more house for your money’

The most expensive homes around Reading are found in the Thames-side villages on its outskirts.

Pangbourne, where the Princess of Wales went to primary school, is popular and places like Goring and Sonning, best known for having a house owned by the Clooneys, are pricey.

Not all is positive in the new Reading, however. The road system is still a mess, some fine Victorian architecture has been destroyed and the magnificent Art Deco headquarters of Huntley & Palmers’ biscuits was replaced by the hideous Prudential Insurance building.

Yet Reading repeatedly wins ‘best place to live’ accolades in the national press. One thing is for sure: it’s time that Ricky Gervais gave his home town a second look.

On the market… in Reading

Penthouse: This two-bedroom, two-bathroom Penthouse is in Bankside Gardens, a short walk from the town centre. Winkworth, 0118 402 2300. £500,000

Penthouse: This two-bedroom, two-bathroom Penthouse is in Bankside Gardens, a short walk from the town centre. Winkworth, 0118 402 2300. £500,000

Apartment: This one-bed apartment in Brunswick Hill House (with communal gardens) is ideally placed for the station. Savills, 01189 520 540. £269,950

Apartment: This one-bed apartment in Brunswick Hill House (with communal gardens) is ideally placed for the station. Savills, 01189 520 540. £269,950

Top-floor flat: Located in Station Road, in the town centre, this top-floor apartment has two bedrooms and was built in 2022. Prospect, 0118 230 3819. £350,000

Top-floor flat: Located in Station Road, in the town centre, this top-floor apartment has two bedrooms and was built in 2022. Prospect, 0118 230 3819. £350,000

Source link


Choco: Revolutionizing The FoodTech Industry With Innovation & Sustainability | EU20

By Clint Bailey

— In the rapidly evolving world of food technology, European startup Choco has emerged as a pioneering force. With its website,, this Berlin-based company is transforming the way food industry professionals operate by leveraging innovative digital solutions. By linking restaurants, distributors, suppliers, and producers on a single platform, Choco is streamlining the supply chain process while promoting sustainability.

Let’s explore the journey of and its impact on the overall foodtech industry.

  1. Company: Choco Technologies GmbH
  2. Website:
  3. Head Office: Berlin, Germany
  4. Year Established: 2018
  5. Founders: Choco was co-founded by Daniel Khachab, Julian Hammer, and Rogerio da Silva.
  6. Industry: Choco operates in the foodtech industry, specifically focusing on digitizing the supply chain for the food industry.
  7. Funding: Choco has secured significant funding rounds from investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners & Coatue Management.
  8. Market Presence: Choco has a strong presence in several European cities, including Berlin, Paris, London & Barcelona.
  9. Mission: Choco aims to revolutionize the food industry by leveraging technology to simplify supply chain management, promote sustainability, and reduce food waste.

Simplifying Supply Chain Management

One of the core focuses of Choco is to simplify supply chain management for food businesses. Traditionally, the procurement process in the food industry has been cumbersome and inefficient, with numerous intermediaries and manual processes. Choco’s digital platform replaces the traditional paper-based ordering system, allowing restaurants and suppliers to communicate and collaborate seamlessly.

Choco’s platform enables restaurants to place orders directly with suppliers, eliminating the need for phone calls, faxes, or emails. This not only saves time but also reduces the likelihood of errors and miscommunications.

By digitizing the ordering process, Choco improves transparency, making it easier for restaurants to compare prices, track deliveries, and manage inventory efficiently.

Streamlining Operations For Suppliers & Producers

Choco’s impact extends beyond restaurants. The platform also provides suppliers and producers with valuable tools to streamline their operations. By digitizing their product catalogs and integrating them into the Choco platform, suppliers can showcase their offerings to a wide network of potential buyers.

Suppliers benefit from increased visibility, enabling them to reach new customers and expand their market presence. Moreover, Choco’s platform helps suppliers manage their inventory, track orders, and plan deliveries effectively. These features enhance operational efficiency, reduce waste, and ultimately contribute to a more sustainable food system.
YouTube Channel

Promoting Sustainability & Reducing Food Waste

Choco recognizes the critical importance of sustainability in the food industry. According to the United Nations, approximately one-third of the world’s food production goes to waste each year. By digitizing the supply chain and enabling more efficient ordering and inventory management, Choco actively works to combat this issue.

Air France – Deals & Destinations

Choco’s platform facilitates data-driven decision-making for restaurants, suppliers, and producers. By analyzing purchasing patterns & demand, Choco helps businesses optimize their inventory levels, reducing overstocking and minimizing food waste. Additionally, Choco supports local sourcing, enabling businesses to connect with nearby suppliers & promote sustainable, community-based practices.

Expanding Reach & Impact

Since its founding in 2018, Choco has experienced rapid growth and expansion. The startup has successfully secured significant funding rounds, allowing it to scale its operations and establish a strong presence across Europe and other global markets. Today, Choco’s platform is used by thousands of restaurants and suppliers, revolutionizing the way they operate.

Choco’s impact extends beyond operational efficiency or sustainability. By connecting restaurants, suppliers & producers on a single platform, Choco fosters collaboration & encourages the exchange of ideas. This collaborative approach strengthens the overall foodtech ecosystem and creates a supportive community of like-minded aiming to drive positive change within the industry.

Future Of FoodTech

Choco’s rise to prominence in the foodtech industry exemplifies the reach of sustainability, innovation, and community. Through its user-friendly platform, Choco simplifies supply chain management, streamlines operations for restaurants & suppliers, and actively promotes sustainable practices. By harnessing the potential of digital, Choco is disrupting the future of the food industry, making it more efficient and transparent.

As Choco continues to expand its impact and reach, its transformative influence on the foodtech sector is set to inspiring, grow other startups, and established players to embrace technology for a better and more sustainable food system.

We Can’t Thank You Enough For Your Support!

— Compiled by Clint Bailey | Team ‘Voice of EU’
— For More Info. & News Submissions:
— For Anonymous News Submissions:

Continue Reading


The Hat Worn By Napoleon Bonaparte Sold For $2.1 Million At The Auction

A faded felt bicorne hat worn by Napoleon Bonaparte sold for $2.1 million at an auction on of the French emperor’s belongings.

Yes, that’s $2.1 million!!

The signature broad, black hat, one of a handful still in existence that Napoleon wore when he ruled 19th-century France and waged war in Europe, was initially valued at 600,000 to 800,000 euros ($650,000-870,000). It was the centerpiece of Sunday’s auction collected by a French industrialist who died last year.

The Hat Worn By Napoleon Bonaparte Sold For $2.1 Million At The Auction

But the bidding quickly jumped higher and higher until Jean Pierre Osenat, president of the Osenat auction house, designated the winner.

‘’We are at 1.5 million (Euros) for Napoleon’s hat … for this major symbol of the Napoleonic epoch,” he said, as applause rang out in the auction hall. The buyer, whose identity was not released, must pay 28.8% in commissions according to Osenat, bringing the overall cost to 1.9 million euros ($2.1 million).

While other officers customarily wore their bicorne hats with the wings facing front to back, Napoleon wore his with the ends pointing toward his shoulders. The style, known as “en bataille,” or in battle, made it easier for his troops to spot their leader in combat.

The hat on sale was first recovered by Col. Pierre Baillon, a quartermaster under Napoleon, according to the auctioneers. The hat then passed through many hands before industrialist Jean-Louis Noisiez acquired it.

The entrepreneur spent more than a half-century assembling his collection of Napoleonic memorabilia, firearms, swords and coins before his death in 2022.

The sale came days before the release of Ridley Scott’s film Napoleon with Joaquin Phoenix, which is rekindling interest in the controversial French ruler.

Continue Reading


The Call for AI Regulation in Creative Industries

THE VOICE OF EU | Widespread concerns have surged among artists and creatives in various domains – country singers, authors, television showrunners, and musicians – voicing apprehension about the disruptive impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on their professions.

These worries have prompted an urgent plea to the U.S. government for regulatory action to protect their livelihoods from the encroaching threat posed by AI technology.

The Artists’ Plea

A notable rise in appeals to regulate AI has emerged, drawing attention to the potential risks AI poses to creative industries.

Thousands of letters, including those from renowned personalities like Justine Bateman and Lilla Zuckerman, underscore the peril AI models represent to the traditional structure of entertainment businesses.

The alarm extends to the music industry, expressed by acclaimed songwriter Marc Beeson, highlighting AI’s potential to both enhance and jeopardize an essential facet of American artistry.

The Call for AI Regulation in Creative Industries

Copyright Infringement Concerns

The primary contention arises from the unsanctioned use of copyrighted human works as fodder to train AI systems. The concerns about AI ingesting content from the internet without permission or compensation have sparked significant distress among artists and their representative entities.

While copyright laws explicitly protect works of human authorship, the influx of AI-generated content questions the boundaries of human contribution and authorship in an AI-influenced creative process.

The Fair Use Debate

Leading technology entities like Google, Microsoft, and Meta Platforms argue that their utilization of copyrighted materials in AI training aligns with the “fair use” doctrine—a limited use of copyrighted material for transformative purposes.

They claim that AI training isn’t aimed at reproducing individual works but rather discerning patterns across a vast corpus of content, citing precedents like Google’s legal victories in the digitization of books.

The Conflict and Seeking Resolution

Despite court rulings favoring tech companies in interpreting copyright laws regarding AI, voices like Heidi Bond, a former law professor and author, critique this comparison, emphasizing that AI developers often obtain content through unauthorized means.

Shira Perlmutter, the U.S. Register of Copyrights, acknowledges the Copyright Office’s pivotal role in navigating this complex landscape and determining the legitimacy of the fair use defense in the AI context.

The Road Ahead

The outpouring of concern from creative professionals and industry stakeholders emphasizes the urgency for regulatory frameworks to safeguard creative works while acknowledging the evolving role of AI in content creation.

The Copyright Office’s meticulous review of over 9,700 public comments seeks to strike a balance between innovation and the protection of creative rights in an AI-driven era. As the discussion continues, the convergence of legal precedents and ethical considerations remains a focal point for shaping the future landscape of AI in creative industries.

Thank You For Your Support!

— By Darren Wilson, Team

— For more information & news submissions:

— Anonymous news submissions:

Continue Reading


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates 
directly on your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!