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UK’s second largest city has the biggest dreams
Birmingham is poised for rapid growth and the investors are taking note.
As the UK’s second largest city, Birmingham has already seen success and is well-equipped for continued success in the future. Its substantial workforce of around 500,000 people serves a wide range of sectors, including a rapidly-growing science and technology sector, as well financial services industry. Its creative industry is also thriving, with 3,400 businesses representing 10% of the companies calling the city home. The city centre alone accounts for more than 150,000 jobs. The workforce gets regular injections of fresh talent from the city’s five well-regarded universities, which together, represent 75,000 students.
The Big City Plan, devised by the Birmingham City Council for the regeneration of the city centre, will see the city centre grow by 25% to cover an area of 800 hectares. Its current resident population of 30,000 is expected to more than double over the next 20 years and over 50,000 new jobs will be created to support this new population. This ambitious plan is expected to contribute 2.1 billion pounds to the economy per year.
Grabbing headlines recently was the relocation of HSBC’s headquarters from London to Birmingham. The move saw the bank transferring 1,000 jobs to Birmingham at a grade A office at the new Arena Central building. HSBC follows hot on the heels of Deutsche Bank, which moved 500 workers from London to a new address at Brindleyplace, Birmingham in 2014.
To cope with this rapid growth, the city centre will see more Grade A office spaces being created. The business district will also see a southern extension being built, which will link it to the area around Martineau Galleries, the future High Speed 2 railway station, and Eastside. In turn, the latter will be transformed into a hub for knowledge-based firms, with its nucleus being the Birmingham Science Park Aston. The creative industry, too, can look forward to a big boost. The historic Jewellery Quarter and Digbeth will both see new office spaces for creative studios and start-ups. woven into its existing tapestry of heritage buildings.
And Birmingham is only just embarking on its journey of growth offering promising prospects to businesses and investors alike.