Many people still think of Birmingham as the first industry and manufacturing city in the world. Today, the UK’s second city has been converted into a place of culture, green and open spaces and is greeting companies from the UK and worldwide.
If you are considering investing in Birmingham, the numerous facts down below will help you make a decision on what benefits are involved when investing and moving in the UK’s second most frequent city.
Nowadays, Birmingham is known for being one of the youthful cities in all Europe, with nearly 40% of the population under the age of 25. This is likely due partly to the 75,000 students spread over 5 universities in the city.
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The people living in Birmingham are fairly friendly and hospitable. It’s fairly easy to get a shopkeeper or a bartender chatting about their personal life or to strike up conversations in a bar. That sort of thing is much less likely to happen in other cities.
People from Birmingham are fairly modest as well. Locals from London know they’re living in a global and important city and can be a little elitist about the rest of the UK. And other big cities like Manchester, Liverpool, and Leeds have a distinct “northerner” identity and status which they’re very proud of. Birmingham doesn’t have a solid sense of its own identity, it’s literally on the middle ground between London and the North.
The most prominent Birmingham area (holding about 2.5 million people) is the third-largest urban area in the UK after London and Manchester, and as with any major city, there’s always a lot of stuff going on. The only thing we would really single out as unique to Birmingham is the rich variety of activities that comes from having such a large population of immigrants. Birmingham has a lot of Irish, Caribbean and South Asian immigrants.
Urban design and architecture
Birmingham has a lot more trees and open spaces than most cities in the UK. Actually, some residential parts of the city like Edgbaston or Bournville barely feel like being in a city at all.
The city wasn’t built on a river or coast so there’s no common water body to use a visual centrepiece. Therefore, the city centre’s canals have been modernized and areas like Brindley Place and The Mailbox are now focal points for cafés, restaurants, bars and shopping centres.
The city appears to have an aspiration to experiment with architecture. After World War II the re-build featured some brutalist concrete buildings such as the aged Central Library and the NatWest Tower. While many of the miscalculations of the 50s and 60s have now been amended, the essence of innovation lives on. The well known Selfridges building, the contemporary Library of Birmingham, the brand new New Street Station, and the “Cube” are the most famous examples.
The city centre is massive but you can walk from one extreme to the other in about 30–40 minutes. So it’s possible to begin a night out in one specific area and then move onto a different area later. This kind of thing is inconceivable in more diverse cities like London where going from Shoreditch to Soho at 3 am in the morning involves looking for a taxi.
In comparison to other UK cities, the public transport links throughout Birmingham are acceptable. The city also only recently concluded debating whether or not to start constructing an underground rail network. Thus, Birmingham has one metro line which is only now being extended to hit the city centre.
One of the greatest things about Birmingham, nevertheless, is its transport connection to the rest of the UK. It’s right in the middle of everything.
If you need easy access to central London, Birmingham is actually the perfect choice for you. Housing and office spaces are much cheaper in Birmingham than in other UK places, and the city’s two rail links into central London make it easy to get in and out fast.
Thanks to good transport connections to London there are a lot of huge companies like Deutsche Bank and ASOS who have bases established in Birmingham.
Birmingham historically had a large manufacturing district, but in recent decades that has decreased.
In 2013, Birmingham had more startup companies (approximately 16,281) than in any other UK city of London. The city has a vibrant tech startup location with lots of digital and specialist manufacturing businesses being generated.
Birmingham is also one of the best places to be for television, music or film based businesses though after London and Manchester.
Birmingham offers a lot of the benefits of enormous city life. The people are nice, there are lots of activities to do, the property market value here is really good, London is less than 1hr 20min away, the city centre looks fascinating and is walkable, and the food has really good quality.
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Top 3 Areas to live in Birmingham
This is one of the most prosperous areas in Birmingham, well-known for its green and open spaces and Birmingham Botanical Gardens. It’s also the ideal spot for sports supporters: Edgbaston Cricket Ground, as well as the oldest lawn tennis club, the Edgbaston Archery and Lawn Tennis Society. There are many other activities and attractions for those who are not interested in sports, like the attractive Victorian campus of Birmingham University and several fancy restaurants.
The greatest (and most thrilling) expansion inside Birmingham’s City Plan, the space in the middle of Digbeth high street and the Bullring is set to go through an enormous renovation. Grounded in sustainability and zero-carbon leaks, a lot of money will be invested into a powerful mix of new companies, green spaces, hotels and cultural constructions. There are enormously valuable cultural offerings such as Birmingham’s Chinese and Gay Quarter.
A welcoming neighbourhood with multiple high streets, this residential commune offers a shelter away from the rush-hour traffic. Harborne eateries strike well their weight for its proportions, with places to eat like Harborne Kitchen and Lebanese Munch welcoming customers from across Birmingham. The Harborne Pool and Fitness Centre also offers recreation facilities if you’re looking to jump on in a fitness class or relax with a swim in the pool.
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