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
tna wraps up Birmingham investment
Fast-growing Australian food packaging company tna has invested £750,000 in a new European manufacturing hub in Birmingham.
Employing up to 65 people when at full capacity, the 4,600m2 (50,000 ft2) facility opened in February 2013. It is the company’s third global manufacturing base, complementing existing operations in Australia and China.
tna provides a comprehensive range of products for the food industry, including spraying, distribution, seasoning, weighing, packaging, metal detection and verification and promotional equipment, along with system controls and integration technology.
The company already had a sales and service base in Birmingham, serving customers across Europe, as well as a design office in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. However, growing demand for products such as its tna roflo VM and tna roflo HM conveyors meant it needed a manufacturing base geographically closer to a rapidly expanding European market.
Tim Moulsdale, European general manager at tna, explained:
“The opening of the European manufacturing hub in Birmingham enabled us to better serve our customers across the globe. It brought us closer to our customers and enabled us to produce more equipment and reduce product lead times to better meet their needs.”
Work on the new facility started in October 2012 and the first products rolled off the production line in January 2013, gradually ramping up to the current level of output by July 2013.
As a truly global business, with 250 employees and over 6,000 systems installed in more than 120 countries, the location of a new facility was strategically critical to the continued growth of the company, which was founded in 1982. Although other locations were considered, Moulsdale said that the central location of Birmingham and its excellent transport links made it the obvious choice.
“Birmingham is incredibly well connected, not only to the rest of the UK – most major cities are within two to three hours’ drive – but also internationally. There are good motorway links, good rail links, excellent facilities. That’s why we’re here. Birmingham Airport has excellent links across Europe, the Middle East and even on to Australia. I actually live nearer London, but always prefer to fly out of Birmingham.”
The city region’s existing sector strengths in engineering and food manufacturing also meant there was a strong existing knowledge base and a large pool of suitably experienced labour for tna to tap into. Its supply chain ranges from growing SMEs and local producers to established brands. As a result, food production in the wider region generates a GVA of £1.8 billion and supports more than 59,000 employees.
Inward investment programme Business Birmingham – which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund – is also on hand to assist and advise food and drink manufacturers, like tna, which are investing in the area.
“We do a lot of sheet metal work – welding, bending, folding, finishing – as well as the engineering, design and administrative side of the operation – and we’ve been able to recruit skilled employees without any problem, and very cost effectively.
“Birmingham City Council and Business Birmingham were also very supportive and we were in regular contact with them throughout the investment process.”
Since the manufacturing hub opened, Moulsdale says the company has met or exceeded both its production and sales targets. He expects output to increase significantly during 2014, with potentially more investment in both people and facilities to follow.
Client profile: Perfection Foods was founded as a family firm in the Black Country in 2000 but has quickly become one of the UK’s leading manufacturers and exporters of high-quality cakes. It employs around 45 staff to bake, hand-decorate and deliver more than a quarter of a million cakes a year across Europe over ten different markets, as well as North Africa from its factories in Walsall and nearby Wednesbury, Black Country.
Sector: Food production
Number of employees: 45
Invest Black Country services:
Gurdeep Singh Bath, director of exports at Perfection Foods, says the company puts its success down to the talented workforce available in the area and the support services offered by local business organisations.