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Cities to Invest: Birmingham

The UK’s second largest city was the top choice for people leaving London in 2016.

Which is unsurprising considering the West Midlands saw the biggest surge in jobs from the end of 2016 to mid-2017. Managerial and professional positions rule the labour market accounting for 39% of total employment. Birmingham is an attractive prospect for young professionals seeking to escape the capital’s unaffordability.

40% of Birmingham’s workforce are under 25, making it one of the youngest cities in Europe. With an expected 5.7% increase in the job market by 2025, and higher-skilled occupations forecast to grow by 13.7%. The city is on its way to becoming the base of one of the freshest, diverse, highly qualified workforces in the UK.

The job market’s prospects will also feel the positive impact of the introduction of HS2, which will allow commuters to travel to and from London in just 49 minutes, making it significantly quicker than the current journey time of 1 hour 21 minutes.

Close to the new Curzon Street HS2 station is Digbeth’s Westminster Works, an ideal base for commuters to the North and South. Located in east Birmingham, Digbeth is undergoing extensive regeneration on the back of the successful redevelopment of the Bullring Centre, the West Midlands’ main shopping destination. Westminster Works will be developed into 8 storeys to accommodate 220 1- and 2-bedroom apartments, with residents enjoying: a concierge, a parcel food and delivery service, community events, and access to the central communal courtyard. The up-and-coming vibrant new neighbourhood will make the perfect home for Birmingham’s young professionals.

Westminster Works is far from the only new addition set to transform Digbeth, the Connaught Square development is expected to match the city’s Victoria Square in size and will see the River Rea opened for the first time in more than a century, along with the addition of a pedestrian bridge and new street. The space will host markets, parades, and festivals; as well act as a social hotspot for the area’s residents.

A major attraction of the area for both investors and potential residents is Digbeth’s reputation as the creative and cultural hub of Birmingham. Known for its lively atmosphere, industrial heritage, music, independent retail outlets, and street art; Digbeth was recently named the city’s ‘coolest’ place to live. The identity of Birmingham’s self-proclaimed creative quarter is respected by all its occupants, with some businesses letting artists paint on their walls to create public displays. Such communal spirit allows the area to flourish and attract mass interest nationally and internationally, with visitors from as far a field as Australia and the USA travelling to view the urban art alone.

Birmingham is growing and flourishing amidst ambitious regeneration projects that are symbolic of the city’s values. As it expands, Birmingham is becoming ever more welcoming to new professionals, new residents, and new investors.

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