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
Digital giant plugs into Birmingham talent
Virgin Media recently demonstrated its confidence in Birmingham’s burgeoning hi-tech and digital cluster with a multi-million pound investment.
The digital communications heavyweight chose the city as the location for its new centre of excellence in customer service operations in October 2012.
Creating a hub of opportunity in the region, the site at Eagle Court, just outside Birmingham city centre, features Virgin Media’s Apprentice Training Centre. Some 900 young people have so far gained invaluable career development in Virgin Media’s government-championed national apprenticeship scheme, and another 150 are currently learning the ropes to help meet the demand for superfast broadband, next-generation TV, landline and mobile services.
Maurice Daw, chief of people at Virgin Media, explained that the talent pool in the area was a key factor in the company’s decision to invest in Birmingham. The city region’s digital sector – ranging from cutting-edge SMEs to global players – is producing a new generation of talented staff, from technology experts to customer service specialists.
“As the proud employer of 1,200 people across the West Midlands, we know the area is brimming with talent and ingenuity. Being able to invest in brilliant staff means we can develop top quality communications and entertainment services and support the local communities we serve.”
Together with the Apprentice Training Centre, Eagle Court is also home to Virgin Media’s Advanced Engineering and Technology Lab, a place where the company’s engineering teams test and explore future technology. Having been at the forefront of a digital and broadband revolution over the past decade or so, Virgin Media uses the centre to trial cutting-edge advancements ahead of releasing them more widely to customers across the country.
Previously, Virgin Media had a number of sites spread around the region. These locations have largely been consolidated into the new operational base at Eagle Court, which is now home to around 1,000 employees covering a range of roles, including customer care, field sales, local IT, field operations as well as network planners. Eagle Court’s bespoke facilities have been designed to improve collaboration and working practices, as well as creating a colourful, fun place to work.
Business Birmingham, the city region’s inward investment programme backed by the European Regional Development Fund, also worked closely with Virgin Media on its plans to invest in the city by supporting its recruitment strategy and connecting the company to other local businesses in the area.
“Through these investments, we hope to give young people in Birmingham and further afield an important opportunity to get themselves on to the employment ladder. With the digital media industry growing at such a rapid rate, these jobs will positively contribute to the region and to the wider UK economy.”
Birmingham is also a major site for Virgin Media Business, where the company invests in developing cutting-edge telecommunications services for the public and private sectors. Last summer the company partnered with Innovation Birmingham Campus, one of the city’s key sites for the tech and start-up community, in a series of free digital workshops for local organisations. And it is supporting hundreds of young entrepreneurs by giving them support and training in the latest digital skills so that they can boost their prospects and drive job creation, both now and in the future.