READING firms have vowed to go on with “business as usual” as they seek to navigate uncharted territory following the UK’s Brexit vote.

Despite crashes in the value of the pound and uncertainty about EU funding, companies in the town have said they are committed to making the best of the situation.

Tim Smith, chief executive of Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Group (LEP), said they would plough on while they await further information from central government.

He said: “In the absence of clarity or guidance our focus has to be on business as usual in terms of implementing our strategic economic plan.”

Mr Smith refused to speculate on the fate of the £25m in EU funding the LEP is due to receive up until 2020 and added: “We simply do not know the implications.”

Paul Britton, chief executive of Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce, said change would not be immediate for most firms but a lack of certainty would persist until more was known about future trade deals.

He added: “Two-way trade, not just with the EU but with nations around the world, could be impacted for some time.

“Businesses will have questions on the future of investment, hiring, growth, migration, and existing trade relationships, so there needs to be a detailed plan from the Government to support the economy and avoid a prolonged period of uncertainty.”

Simon Tomkins runs social enterprise Maasai Colour, which uses the proceeds from handmade boutique bags to help Kenyan entrepreneurs start their own businesses.

He said the times ahead would become more challenging if sterling continued to slump and remained weak against the Kenyan shilling.

Mr Tomkins, 27, continued: “That situation would directly affect our cost of business as it would reduce our profit margins.

“But I do not know what will happen in a month or six months’ time. That is a big concern.”

Meanwhile Prudential, which employs more than 800 people in Reading, said it did not expect the referendum result to significantly impact its operations in the foreseeable future.

It said in a statement: “There has clearly been a strong market reaction but, as always, we are well positioned to deal with this kind of short-term volatility.”