Our city and region is ready for you and your business. Explore this snapshot to find out why.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
A £600 million redevelopment of New Street Station is underway
Tech, Digital & Creative
Greater Birmingham provides an exceptional technological infrastructure, an excellent supply of skills and talent which create a perfect eco-system for creative agencies, games companies and global technology giants. The presence of major players in the region, a young and diverse population and innovative linkages with complementary sectors, Greater Birmingham is quickly becoming a tech hub for the future.
Additionally Greater Birmingham’s supply of digital talent, world-class institutions, first rate facilities and entrepreneurial spirit is creating a melting pot of hybrid digital industries. As the rate of technological change and innovation continues, ‘tech’ is becoming increasingly integrated within every sector and industry. Greater Birmingham is home to centres of excellence and organisations that are developing technologies spanning many sectors and industries.
ITEC in Greater Birmingham
Information, Technology, Electronics & Communications
Design and web development
Greater Birmingham contains companies within this high growth sub-sector consisting of innovative start-ups as well as long standing industry powerhouses. The breadth of creative talent, affordable and dynamic locations together with a strong pedigree of companies (such as SSC), all make the region a melting pot for design and web based firms and projects.
The region is already home to several large data storage firms and has a well established graduate population in relevant data management courses. There are huge opportunities for growth in connection with other key regional sectors, for example, the large regional financial services industry provides business professional services with a significant customer base for future growth.
Video & Serious gaming
Greater Birmingham is already well known as a centre for the games industry with companies such as Codemasters and Activision located in the region. The Greater Birmingham contains 25% of the UK’s games industry and key regional universities including Aston, Birmingham City University and the University of Birmingham have around 1,725 students in various computer science courses. Ranked the Number 1 University for Computer Science in 2014 by the Guardian, the University of Birmingham is a ‘leading light’ within the sector with particular strengths in the digital sub-sector of serious games, which relate to the defence and healthcare sectors.
E-Commerce & Digital Media
Leading online retail brand ASOS demonstrates the region’s growing influence within digital media and e-commerce. Opening a new office in the Custard Factory at Digbeth during 2013, its first regional office outside the South East, the firm took advantage of several high growth clusters in the area providing talent, support and an ideal environment for both tech start-ups and digital arms of larger corporations.
Film & Animation
Birmingham City Council’s film institute, Film Birmingham, acts as a catalyst to the region’s film industry, enabling and facilitating the industry in the West Midlands. Birmingham hosts a number of Centres of Excellence within the film and animation industry including the Creative Skillset Media Academy and the Visual Communication Research Group. Additionally, the BBC announced plans to develop its Digbeth presence with its innovative Digital Guerrilla Group creating experimental new forms of content for programmes and services.
With a dedicated Centre of Excellence in digital imaging at University of Birmingham, CRNI (Collaborative Research Network in Imaging and Visualisation) acts as an interdisciplinary hub for this high growth sector.
The Human Interface Technologies Team within Electronic, Electrical & Computer Engineering was formed in 2003 and brings together award-winning, multidisciplinary researchers within the School who focus on theoretical and practical human-centred research issues related to future interactive technologies, including task and usability analyses, human factors integration, ergonomics and the design, application and evaluation of advanced interfaces.
The centre is also a beacon for applied technology in the armed forces, with studies being conducted for the Royal Navy including a desktop games engine-based demonstrator, supporting the training of Dillon Minigun aimers as well as a gaming solution to test navigational and spatial orientation skills of junior warfare officers. In addition the region benefits from close proximity to the Serious Games Institute at Coventry University, an international Centre for Excellence in Serious Games Applied Research, Business Engagement and Study.
Healthcare and med-tech
The region is at the epicentre of the UK’s medical technology industry. With the highest concentration of med tech companies and major competencies in key areas such as biotechnology and developing technologies for assisted living, the region provides excellent opportunities for SMEs in the sector. The region has a strong academic research base, access to clinical excellence, a developing culture of collaboration, and the right planned infrastructure to catalyse further development of the medical technology sector.
Infrastructure & Support
Longbridge ITEC Park
Guided by an Area Action Plan, the ITEC Park lies at the heart of one of the largest urban regeneration programmes in the country. The £1 billion Longbridge regeneration scheme is led by St Modwen’s and is the Midland’s largest mixed use scheme being delivered outside Birmingham city centre.
It is fast becoming an established business, leisure and retail community that is on track to create around 10,000 jobs. Boasting a £100m Technology Park that has attracted local, national and international ICT-based businesses, Longbridge is quickly evolving into a hub for progressive technologies and services.
Covering 5ha within the wider 25ha Regional Investment Site the ITEC Park has a range of plot sizes and locations available for companies looking for large floor plates to deliver major ICT operations.The potential to install ultrafast broadband connections as part of the utilities package increases the attractiveness of the site for data heavy operations.
The ITEC Park is particularly suited to the following sub-sectors:
The Custard Factory & Fazeley Studios
The Custard Factory in Birmingham is one of the largest hubs for digital, creative and technology businesses in the region. Upon opening, the hub attracted 130 companies before the marketing campaign for the building had even started. This agglomeration has now expanded into additional buildings currently home to around 400 businesses. Fazeley Studios are 45 studio offices for 5 – 200 person businesses, ideal for the Digital and Creative sectors. The studios are at the heart of the burgeoning Digbeth creative quarter, which is redefining the city’s technology credentials.
Innovation Campus Birmingham
The Innovation Birmingham Campus is a thriving cluster of over 100 tech companies. Its specialisms include coding, software, digital gaming and low carbon technologies. The campus facilities include the Entrepreneurs for the Future (e4f) multi-occupancy start-up centre with hot-desking facilities and a wide range of flexible office units, EU-funded projects and a major programme of events, visiting expert sessions and access to finance, all catalyse a dynamic community that is engaged with the city. The available opportunities for start-ups and SMEs create the best environment for growth, with over 80 ventures established in the past four years. Medium-sized enterprises and large corporates find engagement with the tech entrepreneurs and businesses based at the Campus highly beneficial as a way to incorporate their working practices with innovative thinking to create new commercial opportunities.
Greater Birmingham's voice of the tech community, Silicon Canal is a non-profit organisation run and owned by the tech community. It is a movement that explores, showcases and supports the digital technology community in Greater Birmingham and is the 'go to' community for designers, developers and marketers, acting as the glue between all the great things already going on in the eco-system.
Oxygen Accelerator is a 13 week intensive mentor led bootcamp that culminates with a series of investor days helping to pitch to a large, carefully selected group of Angel investors, VCs and Private Equity groups for next stage funding. Oxygen Startups delivers a series of programmes that invest in, support and bring to life early stage and growth businesses. Since 2009 we have been investing in, mentoring and supporting entrepreneurs from the idea stage through to investment and beyond.
The organisation was Born in Birmingham, and has unrivalled experience with startups no other UK company can boast, having engaged with 5000+ entrepreneurs, had 1000 entrepreneurs go through one of our programmes, mentored 100+ startups and invested in 20+ businesses last year alone.
Entrepreneurs for the Future (e4f)
Entrepreneurs for the Future (e4f) is dedicated to supporting the growth of technology companies in Birmingham.
This initiative is designed to help you launch, develop & grow your business, whether you simply just have an idea or are seeking later-stage investment.
Based at Birmingham Science Park Aston, there are three main initiatives:
SCC is an information technology solutions firm, servicing medium and large-sized enterprises as well as public sector organisations. Set up in Birmingham by Sir Peter Rigby, Chairman of parent group Rigby Group PLC, the company has grown to become the 13th largest privately owned business in the UK. SCC now has over 5,000 international employees in seven European countries and supports five million users. The company chose to grow its presence in the region because of the exceptional technological infrastructure, critical mass of skills and talent as well as the excellent road, rail and air links.
This global online retailer set up an office in Birmingham’s Custard Factory, Digbeth in 2013. The firm recruited 20 highly skilled developers, with roles focused on creating new company websites tailored to the needs of consumers in growth markets including France and Germany. The firm took up residence in one of the region’s leading tech and creative centres, and plans to increase the size of the team exponentially over the coming years.
In early 2012, Virgin Media opened a 1,100 person strong regional head quarters in East Birmingham. The operation hosts a customer experience centre of excellence and also provides marketing and business support functions as part of a major shared service centre. The new site is also home to Virgin Media’s Apprentice Training Centre, which runs a popular programme giving apprentices the chance to get comprehensive training in digital home entertainment and telecommunications.
Based in Birmingham for more than 30 years, Delcam is the largest developer of product design and manufacturing software in the UK, with subsidiaries in North America, Europe and Asia. Since the acquisition, it now operates as a wholly-owned, independently operated subsidiary of Autodesk. The firm supplies software and services that help manufacturing companies to increase productivity, improve quality and reduce lead times. Its software is used in over 90 countries by around 45,000 organisations, the majority of which are small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Over recent years, Delcam’s Birmingham headquarters has grown from fewer than 200 people to its current tally of over 300, with more than 400 in the company’s overseas subsidiaries and around 200 more in its international joint ventures.
Fujitsu’s operation in Solihull is the centre for the Company’s EMEA-wide (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) telecommunications activities, providing integrated, end-to-end, next generation networks and system solutions from design, development and manufacture through to implementation, support, operation, repair and ongoing managed services. The 700+ Fujitsu employees in Solihull deliver product support and network management, with rapid-response fault management and a dedicated Customer Contact Centre, providing round the clock monitoring and proactive fault management for customer networks both in the UK and globally.
Jumar Solutions is a global IT solutions provider, with its world headquarters located in Solihull. It employs 40 people at this site as well as maintaining a worldwide pool of 150 contractors and an ever-expanding wider network of skilled IT resources. The company provides a unique combination of IT modernisation solutions for blue chip organisations, complemented by an IT recruitment division which also provides services to clients across Solihull, the Greater Birmingham region and beyond.
The Beans Group
Named Digital Business of the Year in 2013, the Beans Group was founded by two University of Birmingham students in 2005. A year later the website went national and there is now a team of almost 50 based in the London office, working with clients such as Google, YouTube, Microsoft, The Economist, O2, Merlin Entertainment and more. The firm returned to their roots in 2014, recruiting software developers, front-end developers and web designers. The Birmingham team will work closely with the London office to develop mobile and web products, which will provide an excellent platform for the company’s international ambitions.
Founded in Birmingham in 2004, PACKT is a leading online publisher, specialising in publishing focused books on specific technologies and solutions. PACKT has expanded its Jewellery Quarter based operation from 30 to 60 staff on the back of surging demand, and is producing up to 100 e-books a month.
Whisk.com, a smart grocery shopping list application, enables users to send their lists into online grocery supermarket baskets with a few clicks. Since launching in June 2012, the company has won many of the UK's biggest retailers, FMCG brands and digital food publishers as clients. Whisk is continuing to grow and is a prime example of what Birmingham’s tech community can produce.
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