Reading has regained its spot as ‘top powerhouse city in the UK’, according to a new report.

A study on the impact of Brexit found Reading had the highest growth of cities and major towns in the UK in the last three months of 2018.

The town had topped the tabled in an earlier report on growth in the second quarter of 2018 but was overtaken by Cambridge in Irwin Mitchell’s (IM) second report on the third quarter period.

IM’s series of studies on the impact of Brexit on the UK economy look at gross value added growth which measures the value of goods and services produced in an area.

Reading’s table-topping 2.7 per cent gross value added growth at the end of 2018 is expected to drop to 2 per cent by the end of 2020, in line with cities and major towns across the UK.

The success of the town – which is squeezed in with cities in this report – is associated with its close location to London and the network of other urban areas in the South East, according to Irwin Mitchell.

Milton Keynes – another town which has been given the city moniker– is expected to overtake Reading next year as the fastest growing city by the end of 2020.

The gap between north and the south economies is expected to widen further next year after Brexit, even if the UK manages to agree to a transitional period until 2021, the report suggests.

Cities and towns like Reading, Oxford and Milton Keynes will see the fastest economic expansion according to IM, although growth is set to slow everywhere, including these cities.

The study assumes that Britain will leave the EU this year with an amended version of the Brexit withdrawal agreement but will put in place a transitional agreement until 2021.

The report states: “Part of the reason these cities are thriving is their sector makeup.

“Professional and scientific activities, as well as information and communication, are forecast to grow well in the coming years, and are significant sectors in the top Powerhouse cities.”