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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


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


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


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, Professional and Financial Services (BPFS)

The critical mass of talent and resources, unparalleled physical infrastructure and connectivity, as well as prime rental costs up to 50% lower than the capital, have enabled Greater Birmingham to emerge as a leading destination for financial and professional services. The city of Birmingham has the largest regional financial and professional services hub in the UK, employing nearly 100,000 people in over 10,000 companies. The city also has the one of the largest legal services clusters in Europe and the largest accountancy clusters outside London. 

The region provides a solution for those firms seeking to relocate major areas of their business currently residing in less efficient higher cost centres, as well as those wishing to consolidate departments spread across multiple locations.

“Birmingham was an easy choice when it came to picking a location outside London. The key factor is the labour market here. We have been able to recruit the highest-calibre teams for compliance, technology and professional services.”
Paul Anderson, Deutsche Bank, Birmingham

BPFS in Greater Birmingham

  • Largest regional BPFS hub in the UK bringing £10.5 billion into the area
  • One of the largest insurance markets in Europe consisting of many niche and bespoke organisations
  • Home to the Birmingham Law Society, the largest local law society in the UK representing over 4000 individuals in 130 practices
  • Largest regional centre for major accountancy firms
  • An excellent professional hub consisting of major Grade A office developments in Birmingham City Centre - including Brindleyplace, Colmore Business District and Snowhill
  • Major speculative office developments include the Eastside Locks scheme which occupies a key position as an entry point to Birmingham city centre for passengers travelling on HS2, as well as the landmark 2.3 million sq ft Arena Central development

Location

  • An unparalleled strategic location at the heart of the UK’s motorway and rail network, enabling a commute to the capital in under 75 minutes
  • Global connectivity in the form of an expanded Birmingham Airport. The extension builds on an existing portfolio of over 150 direct connections to both established markets, such as North America and Europe
  • Significantly lower business costs and overheads in the region compared to the capital
  • Groundbreaking plans in Birmingham city centre for major office led mixed use developments driven by billions of pounds of infrastucture development.

Talent

  • Birmingham is one of only 4 UK cities to contain over 10,000 finance professionals
  • A critical mass of professional talent including specialisms in HR, insurance and law
  • 6 universities and 18 further education institutions located in the region
  • Collaboration between large firms such as Deutsche Bank, DTZ and KMPG with Birmingham Metropolitan College to create the Greater Birmingham Professional Services Academy - fostering the professional talent of the city for future employment in the sector

 

BPFS Brochure

Business, Professional and Financial Services (BPFS)

 

Key Strengths

Insurance

Greater Birmingham hosts the second largest insurance market in Europe. The quality and range of insurance skills here are due to a rich tapestry of specialist and niche operations. The city of Birmingham is one of only four UK cities with over 10,000 Credit and Insurance professionals, and the region is home to major insurance operations such as Wesleyan Assurance and Phoenix Life as well as hosting Allianz, AON, Aza, Marsh and Zurich.

For historical reasons linked to Birmingham’s development as a major manufacturing centre, the local insurance market has a strong focus on commercial insurance packages (professional indemnity, engineering insurance and other specialisms), but it also offers a wide range of products to other markets.

Law

The region is at the nucleus of one of the largest legal centres in Europe, offering firms the necessary specialist pool of talent for legal operations. In addition there are 14,300 students currently studying law within an hour of Birmingham, with 4 major institutions offering law degrees within Greater Birmingham itself.

The region has the largest branch of the College of Law in the UK, and the wider region contains major legal departments within institutions including the University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, University of Wolverhampton, University of Warwick, University of Leicester and Staffordshire University amongst others.  Firms can source graduates who would be available on short-term contracts before commencing their training contracts, as well as Legal Practice Course (LPC) graduates who are yet to secure.

Fintech

Fintech is a rapidly growing industry in the UK that secured over £650 million inward investment in 2015. RBS and Deutsche Bank have recently chosen to be based in Birmingham, with HSBC in the process of relocating their head office from Canary Wharf to the heart of the city centre, all of which is fuelling a large upsurge of FinTech companies moving into the city.

In 2016, global FinTech company Lombard Risk, chose Birmingham out of 26 other global cities to open a new tech centre investing in a new wave of products, created 150 new jobs. Choosing Birmingham as a location was due to the availability of a large highly skilled talent pool within software development and financial analysis.

Support Services 

The presence of some of Europe’s largest Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) providers, with Capita, Serco, Cap Gemini and IBM all having major centres in the region, is testament to the versatility and quality of the professional environment. Furthermore, the ecosystem that has grown around these large organisations provides countless opportunities and the perfect environment for SMEs within the sector to thrive and grow. 

Islamic Finance

The region is a key location for the development of Islamic Finance. The Elshaarani Centre for Islamic Business and Finance at Aston University has been developed as a result of a £1.5 million grant from Dubai-based business Surgi-Tech and aims to establish Birmingham as the centre for Islamic finance in the UK. The EIBF offers postgraduate, PhD, executive and professional programmes at the highest international standards.

City Centre Enterprise Zone (EZ)

Birmingham city centre is at the heart of the region’s financial and professional services sector. The 26 sites which make up the City Centre Enterprise Zone (EZ) reflect the spatial strategy for the area and will accelerate the development of the city centre in order to create jobs, unlock regeneration and grow the city's profile as a leading global business destination.

The vision set out in the Big City Plan is to create and support a globally competitive knowledge economy, the natural home for Europe’s entrepreneurs and wealth creators with an enterprise culture supported by investment in infrastructure. It focuses on those sectors in which Birmingham and the region have a competitive advantage and which can be accommodated in the city centre including financial and professional services, creative and digital businesses and education providers.

To accommodate growth in the financial and professional services sector, the central business district within the city core will expand to take in the Arena Central and Paradise Circus sites. The transformation of Paradise Circus will provide mixed-use development of offices, shops, leisure and cultural facilities together with civic amenities, a hotel and new public realm. 

Support for Investors

A range of incentives are on offer for investors and businesses including:

Site Development*

More than £148 million of funding bring forward Grade A office accommodation at Paradise Circus, create a development platform at the Southern Gateway to improve the retail and leisure offer of the City Centre, and £15 million to enable the development of other EZ sites (an announcement is due in 2014).

Infrastructure 

£43 million of investment focused delivering the Metro extension to serve Arena Central and Paradise Circus sites, and world class enhancements to key areas of public realm in the City Centre, including Centenary Square. 

Birmingham Curzon - £30 million  of investment will be utilised to connect and integrate the delivery of the new station into the City Centre. The delivery of these key projects will support the Enterprise Zone and the wider City Centre.

Rates Relief* 
Relief of up to £55,000 per annum over a five year period for businesses entering the zone before 31st March 2018. *Subject to eligibility. 

Simplified Planning
A Local Development Order in Digbeth and Birmingham Science Park Aston will allow a wider range of changes of use without the requirement for planning permission. A simplified planning regime for the wider EZ area with dedicated resources and streamlined processes to support applicants. 

Digital Infrastructure 
Affordable access to ultrafast broadband.

Financial Support

There are various business support loans and grants currently available to help businesses set up and thrive in the region.  These can range from start-up loans to large scale supply chain development grants. To find out more, contact our team here

Case Studies

The Business Professional and Financial Services (BPFS) industry is at the core of the Greater Birmingham region, with 30% of Birmingham’s firms in this sector and over 300 company headquarters located in Birmingham, particularly the city centre. It is the largest regional (BPFS) hub in the UK, bringing in £23 billion (25% of GVA).


Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank AG is a German global banking and financial services giant with its headquarters in Frankfurt. It has more than 100,000 employees in over 70 countries, and a large presence in Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and the emerging markets.

Deutsche Bank opened its first office in Birmingham in late 2006, initially with 30 employees. Since that first investment it has become the region’s largest foreign owned financial services company, employing over 1000 staff in a range of roles in technology, support operations and increasingly front office functions. The Birmingham office now services 500 clients that were previously handled in London across debt, listed derivatives and cash equities, which have generated a 150% increase in profit, and has plans to double its staff levels in the near future.


DTZ

DTZ’s history dates back to 1784 when the founding predecessor firm, Cheshire Gibson was established in Birmingham. Since then, the company has become a global leader in property services, providing occupiers and investors around the world with industry leading, end-to-end property solutions.

In 2013 DTZ chose to establish its EMEA Financial Control European Centre of Excellence in Birmingham’s Colmore Business District.   The critical mass of accountancy talent in Birmingham, coupled with the region’s multi-lingual capabilities (more language graduates than anywhere in the UK and 55,000 commuting multi-linguists), enabled the company to consolidate operations from across the UK, Germany, France and Poland. The project demonstrated the complete package that the region offers, especially in relation to companies that need to service an international client base at both an SME and corporate level. 


Hogan Lovells

A growing American law firm that chose Birmingham for its new UK legal centre and announced that it will open a 20 lawyer office in the city.  The firm plans to grow to 100 staff citing employment and real estate costs as the reason for the move.

The firm looked at 11 locations around the UK before opting for Birmingham. The office is expected to open in September 2014. All of the lawyers will be hired locally, with Bright pointing out that Hogan Lovells wanted to go somewhere where the talent pool was sufficiently large to find both the quality and quantity of fee earners required.

And while the Birmingham base is certainly designed to save money, Bright says it is also about winning new business. The expectation is that giving clients the option of using the low-cost centre will land the firm new panel appointments.



George Green LLP

Building on its Black Country heritage dating back to 1897, George Green LLP has grown to be one of the region’s leading law firms serving both businesses and individuals within the Greater Birmingham region.

The Cradley Heath based firm has recently opened a further office in Wolverhampton, well placed to support increased economic activity around the i54 Enterprise Zone, home to Jaguar Land Rover’s new engine plant.

Senior Partner, Paul Bennett cites location as integral to the firm’s success.

“The gravitational pull for professional services in cities outside of the capital is now greater than ever. The pool of young and ambitious talent consciously developing careers locally is growing. Local diversity is a real asset in a globalised market.” 
“We have lower operating costs than many of our competitors and we are accessible with infrastructure benefits of close rail and motorway links. It’s a recipe for success.”


thecitysecret

thecitysecret is an established software engineering and consultancy company working with top tier financial institutions across the financial centres of Geneva, London and Moscow.  Opening its Brindleyplace office in the region in 2013, the operation is revolutionising the sector through the development of the Hārchvӓrd platform - which puts powerful tools into the hands of any team managing alternative assets. This is achieved by having all assets in one place, both liquid and illiquid and managed through an easy to use application.

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