Birmingham renaissance – The Financial Times special report
Doing Business in Birmingham
The Financial Times proposes to publish this FT Report on September 29th, 2015
Advertising booking deadline: September 01st, 2015
We plan to include the following features (please note that this list is provisional):
Birmingham is bidding to reclaim its position as the UK’s second city after years in the shadow of some of its northern rivals. Once dubbed the city of a thousand trades, it is attracting record levels of investment with big improvements in transport infrastructure, and a revival of its retail sector. The city is set to be one of the main
beneficiaries of HS2, the high speed rail link to London. David Cameron’s conservative government committed to hand over new spending responsibilities to city regions – as part of moves to rebalance the UK economy – Birmingham must grasp the opportunity to take a leadership role joining forces with its neighbours to maximise the powers on offer.
1. The Economy
The Midlands region is outperforming the UK economy, driven by export success in the car market. The number of business start ups is growing. Jobs are being created at a record pace, with parts of the city worst hit by the recession benefiting. But there remain pockets of deprivation where unemployment remains stubbornly high.
Birmingham relies heavily on manufacturing. Jaguar Land Rover has attracted all the attention, but there have been notable successes in the advanced manufacturing supply chain.
3. The Car Industry
The Midlands region claims to be the only part of the UK with a trade surplus with China, thanks in large part to Jaguar Land Rover. The competition for skills is putting pressure on smaller parts suppliers while the city is in danger of missing on new investment because of the lack of suitable industrial land
4. Banking and Finance
Improved transport links and competitive office costs make the city an attractive location as London banks and financial services companies move back office and other functions outside London to save costs. The arrival of the HS2 high speed rail service from London in 2026 will add to Birmingham’s competitive position as a financial centre.
5. The Jewellery Quarter
Birmingham has long been a centre of the UK jewellery trade, with a multitude of companies, from small workshops making military and sporting regalia to manufacturers of high end fashion pieces. However jewellers are now competing with property developers as the old Victorian buildings of the quarter become much sought after as trendy city accommodation.
6. Property and Urban Regeneration
Birmingham has a number of major schemes underway with redevelopment of the area around the old city library, the redesign of the former wholesale markets sites, and the transformation of the old Irish quarter around Digbeth centred on the new Curzon Street terminus for HS2.
7. Medical Industries
Birmingham is increasingly important as a place to do clinical trials. It has secured government support for a new centre for translational medicine. The leafy Edgbaston area, close to the university, is being re-branded as a medical quarter.
8. Case Study of a local business
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