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Our city and region is ready for you and your business. Explore this snapshot to find out why.

Connected city


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Digital Native

Digital apprenticeship provider goes Native in Birmingham

Technology training provider Digital Native chose Birmingham as the place to base its head office, after scouring the UK for the most suitable location.  

The company’s founders Martin Stilgoe, Suzanne Higginson and Tony Harper spotted a gap in the market for Information Technology training, and Birmingham beat other locations across the UK to secure the company’s investment.

The SME provides technology apprenticeships for young people in the fields of Software Development, Web Development, IT Support and Business Intelligence (BI complex data analysis that enables better business decision-making). 

Digital Native offers the only BI apprenticeships in the UK, with Director of Technology Tony Harper, formerly Chief Technology Officer for Capgemini UK – Business Information Management, bringing his global experience to develop the curriculum. 

Director Martin Stilgoe said:

“After looking at different locations across the UK, Birmingham stood out as the ideal location. Most larger-scale IT companies have a presence in the area, and with its excellent connections, Birmingham is never more than a short drive away from any of them. Fast-growing sites for tech firms in the city, like the Custard Factory and the Innovation Birmingham Campus, are only going to add to that mix.”

Birmingham is already one of the UK’s major digital hubs, with over 6,000 tech firms employing some 38,300 people. There are also 40,000 students studying computer science or business in the city.

Digital Native moved into the Custard Factory in Digbeth, the city’s digital and creative quarter, at the end of 2013. Although Stilgoe says the Custard Factory was not on his original shortlist of possible locations, once inward investment programme Business Birmingham had shown him the building, he knew immediately it was the right spot for the business. Business Birmingham is supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

“We met Business Birmingham and they were very supportive of what we are trying to do. When they showed us the Custard Factory, we loved it. It has a hi-tech, contemporary feel, and it’s very professional with a high spec fit-out. We can bring very senior directors from our clients here without hesitation, and at the same time it is warm and welcoming for apprentices,” he said.

Digital Native’s courses, which are financed by the Skills Funding Agency, started in January 2014 with 20 apprentices. The apprentices will complete a Level 3 IT qualification (equivalent to A Levels) and specialist industry led training. Potential employers can benefit from a grant of up to £3,000 per apprentice, plus advice in areas such as insurance and HR.

Stilgoe continued:

“By basing ourselves in Digbeth, we’re in the heart of the city’s creative and digital clusters, so we have a wide business network to collaborate with. Digital Native also received plenty of support and advice from local organisations such as Business Birmingham.”

In addition, Birmingham’s central location provides access to a large talent pool from which Digital Native can draw its apprentices, a crucial factor for the company.

Operations Director, Suzanne Higginson, said:

“Finding talented young people is our business critical issue. Basing ourselves in a central location with excellent transport links gives us access to the widest possible reservoir of apprentices.”

Digital Native currently employs five people in Birmingham and is planning to train 400 apprentices over the next five years. Once the Birmingham office is at full strength, the company plans to open up further locations across the UK.

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