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Our city and region is ready for you and your business. Explore this snapshot to find out why.


Connected city

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Connected city

We have regional, national, European and global connections. To keep us ahead £1.3 billion will be invested in our networks by 2015.

Easy access to 400 million people across Europe

90% of UK consumers are within four hours travel time

High Speed 2 rail  – London in less than 45 minutes 

50 airlines serving more than 140 routes worldwide


Space to breathe

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Space to breathe

Birmingham was voted best UK city outside of London for quality of life (Mercer Quality of Living 2012).


With more than 600 parks and open spaces and Sutton Park as one of the largest urban parks in Europe there is always space to breathe

Slow down. Explore more miles of canal than Venice

Secure future - 10 Local Nature Reserves and 156 designated nature conservation sites


World class city of culture

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World class city of culture

Indoors, outdoors, participate, watch or find space and quiet to get away from it all. You will always be able to relax and unwind.

Birmingham was ranked among the New York Times’ top 20 international destinations to visit.

Explore cuisine from more than 27 countries and dine in more Michelin star restaurants than any other English city outside London

More than 500,000 works of art in one square mile


High quality workforce

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High quality workforce

Our large talent pool is highly ranked now. It will stay that way.

4.3 million people of working age within an hour of the city

Over 300,000 students and 100,000 graduates within an hour’s drive of the city

A digital hub - for example 21% of the UK's games industry workforce is here

Nearly 1 million people speak a second language


Growth engine

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Growth engine

Our £94 billion regional economy will grow 20% by 2020

Innovative economic zones generating £1.5bn and 50,000 new jobs

Home to 75,000 companies, 1,190 of which are international

Our population will grow to 1.17million by 2018 (ONS)

Birmingham New Street helps move nearly 25million passengers annually

Europe's youngest city, with under 25's nearly 40% of our population


Multi-sector strengths

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Multi-sector strengths

Our talented people use their skills and expertise across a range of key sectors.

60% of the UK’s automotive R&D from the region

More BPFS companies than Zurich, Manchester and Edinburgh

23,700 people in architecture and engineering

500 medical technology companies, more than any other UK region


Bold regeneration

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Bold regeneration

We are investing £18 billion by 2026 in a bold 21st Century regeneration plan.

£1.3 billion will be invested in road, rail and air networks by 2015

£25 million is going in to the Digital Media Academy and £188 million on the new Library of Birmingham

£600 million redevelopment of New Street Station is underway


Business Catalyst

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Business Catalyst

A comprehensive suite of products to speed up the process of setting up your business in Birmingham.

Local labour pool analysis, bespoke recruitment & apprenticeship solutions

Property and incubator space – short-term accommodation and support for future plans

Business services including legal advice, project management and other professional services for business establishment

Profile-raising opportunities such as PR announcements, sales and marketing workshops, networking events and social media collaboration

From Michelin starred restaurants to street food at a free arts festival; a kick-about in a local park to high stakes Premiership football; one of the largest urban parks in Europe to the Arts & Crafts perfection of a quiet retreat; one of the finest collections of ancient coins to the world's largest collection of album covers.

Indoors, outdoors, participate, watch or find space and quiet to get away from it all. You will always be able to relax and unwind.

Food

In 2012 Birmingham was ranked among the New York Times’ top 20 international destinations to visit.

And it’s all because of its growing culinary reputation. With 27 cuisines served in 200 restaurants the home of the world famous Balti Triangle also has more Michelin star restaurants than any other English city outside London. 

  • The inaugural Birmingham Food Fest saw 70,000 people descend on the city to sample its diverse gastronomy 
  • Birmingham is the only UK city which is part of Délice – Network of Good Food Cities which also includes Lyon, Chicago and Montréal 
  • Birmingham’s College of Food is training the next generation of rising stars at its world-class education and catering facilities – including recent MasterChef The Professionals contestant Claire Hutchins 
  • Over 100 balti houses, many of which can be found in the city’s famous Balti Triangle, attract over 20,000 visitors each week
  • Whilst very modern in it’s food outlook nowadays Birmingham has a quintessentially British food heritage - Bird’s Custard, Cadbury’s chocolate, Bournville Drinking Chocolate, HP Sauce and Typhoo Tea, all started life in the city
  • The Black Country is the highest importer of spices, with over 16% of all spices nationally imported ending up here

Museums, theatres & galleries

Birmingham boasts the most popular theatre in the UK. Drawing visitors in with the best of the West End performances, The Hippodrome rivals London theatres. Concerts, comedies, dramas and musicals in our region wow audiences from the four corners of the world. 

  • Birmingham Hippodrome is the most popular theatre in the UK with over 520,000 visitors every year
  • The Barber Institute is home to one of the finest collections of Roman, Byzantine, Sasanian and Medieval Islamic coins in the world, numbering more than 15,000 items
  • Birmingham has more than 500,000 works of art in one square mile and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is home to the world’s largest Pre-Raphaelite collection, including some 2000 art works
  • Southside is home to the UK’s oldest working cinema, The Electric Cinema, which opened on Station Street in 1909
  • The world’s largest collection of licensed album covers can be explored at St Paul’s Gallery. Look out for iconic cover art from bands such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen and the Beatles.

Music

The musical offering in Birmingham is as deep as it is wide. Venues like the NIA, LG Arena and Symphony Hall host everybody from the City of Birmingham Orchestra to to Electric Light Orchestra. 

  • Over 25 independent festivals taking place in Birmingham each year, including experimental music festival Supersonic, film festival Flatpack and Artsfest, the UK’s biggest free arts festival with over 600 events
  • Over 50,000 people watch inspirational performances by City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) every year, led by the world-famous Andris Nelsons. That’s more than any other UK orchestra
  • The world’s largest collection of licensed album covers can be explored at St Paul’s Gallery
  • Heavy metal was born in Birmingham and the Black Country. Bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Led Zeppelin changed the face of music in the 70s 
  • Birmingham Opera Company staged the world premiere of the “famously unstageable” Mittwoch aus Licht in 2012, which included a string quartet performing in helicopters, electronic and acoustic music and a dancing camel
  • Birmingham’s Town Hall reopened in October 2007 following an award-winning £35m renovation providing a platform for local, national and international performers

Parks and open spaces

One of the greenest cities in the UK, Birmingham has more than 600 parks and open spaces. Throughout the West Midlands green space is in abundance. 

  • The Botanical Gardens are a 15 acre oasis just minutes from the city centre
  • Winterbourne Garden is a beautiful six acre Arts & Crafts garden offering people a quiet retreat in the heart of the city
  • Birmingham has more than 10 Local Nature Reserves and 156 other locally designated nature conservation sites
  • Sutton Park is one of the largest urban parks in Europe with over 2,400 acres of parkland, heath and woodland with seven lakes and leisure facilities
  • At Moseley Bog you can follow the footsteps of J.R.R. Tolkien who used to play there during his childhood. Nearby is Sarehole Mill, a 19th century Grade II listed water mill and museum, which Tolkien has stated was an inspiration for locations in Lord of the Rings
  • Birmingham has more miles of canal than Venice. Many have been renovated and brought back to life as public spaces and leisure destinations and have been incorporated into many city centre redevelopments such at Brindleyplace and the Mailbox

Shopping

Hosting markets since the 12th Century, Birmingham has always made it easy to find the basics and enjoy some luxury. 

  • The city remains in the top three most visited places to shop in the UK with a £2.43 billion expenditure. The Bullring shopping centre alone is the size of 26 football pitches
  • 40% of all UK jewellery comes from the 400 businesses in the 250 year old Jewellery Quarter
  • Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market is the biggest of its kind in the UK with nearly 200 stalls lining the city centre, welcoming in excess of 3 million visitors every year
  • Birmingham has over 1,000 shops in a 20-minute walk in the city centre alone
  • The 1.5 million square foot Westfield Merry Hill Centre in Dudley is home to over 300 stores and welcomes over 23 million visitors each year

Sports

Birmingham’s ties with sport are plentiful – it’s staged more World and European Championships than any other UK city.  Top level athletics, tennis, cricket, hockey and rugby teams all call this region home. 

  • Birmingham provided the official training camp facilities for both the Jamaican and US Track and Field teams ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games, prompting star athlete Usain Bolt and his team mates to ‘big up’ the city following their 200m final
  • Birmingham is home to three of the oldest professional football clubs. Aston Villa, Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion were formed in 1874, 1875 and 1888 respectively. Aston Villa are one of only five English teams to have won the prestigious European Cup and are also part of an elite group of seven clubs that have played in every Premier League season since its inception in 1992
  • Not only were football referee whistles invented and first manufactured in Birmingham but it’s also where the original FA Cup was made
  • Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham’s oldest international sports venue which recently underwent a £32m redevelopment, is home to the 2012 County Champions Warwickshire County Cricket Club – one of the most successful sides in domestic first class cricket. The ground hosts showpiece Test Matches, including the memorable 2005 Ashes contest and the five day match against India in 2011, which saw England become the world’s number one Test side
  • Lawn tennis was invented and first played in Birmingham over 100 years ago and, today, the city hosts the crucial Wimbledon warm-up tournament, the AEGON Classic at the Priory Club in Edgbaston
  • Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium is now the home of UK athletics, following a £12.5m expansion and refurbishment, increasing its capacity to 12,700. It hosts the annual UK Championships, as well as the Birmingham Grand Prix, part of the Diamond League
  • The Birchfield Harriers is the UK’s premier athletics club, based at the city’s Alexander Stadium. It has been represented at every summer Olympics bar once since 1908, with famous recent athletes including Denise Lewis, Mark Lewis-Francis, Katharine Merry and Kelly Sotherton
  • The Belfry, to the north of Birmingham, has hosted the prestigious Ryder Cup on four occasions and is the UK headquarters of the PGA

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