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
Synapse firing up success in Birmingham
In 2012 Silicon Valley veteran Brian Donnelly swapped California for the West Midlands. And while he occasionally misses the sunshine, he says the business climate in Birmingham has proved perfect for his business.
Donnelly is managing director of Synapse, a fast growing hi-tech business that helps large organisations improve the way they report, present and manage their data using spreadsheets.
“Spreadsheets are a vital management tool for many businesses. But when you have multiple users all using the same spreadsheets, it can get messy very quickly. Our cloud-based system stops that from happening.”
Having previously sold his US-based company Constellar to IBM, Donnelly knows first-hand what it takes to develop a successful hi-tech business in terms of location, infrastructure, support and talent. And he says Birmingham has all these vital elements in abundance.
“Our client base is primarily large organisations with pretty sophisticated data management needs, so Birmingham is ideal. Some of the biggest organisations in Britain are based here. There’s a huge concentration of large companies in the West Midlands, and with its road connections, it’s very easy to go and see them.”
He set up Synapse in January 2012. The SME’s client list already includes a leading UK bank, a major European retailer and a large US conglomerate, all based within a 20-30-mile radius of the office at the Innovation Birmingham Campus.
From its beginnings as a one-man operation, Synapse now employs around 20 people and has exceeded all its growth targets. It also has small sales offices in London and also in Oregon, USA. Given the hi-tech nature of his business, Donnelly says that finding and recruiting the right people is vital. And here too, Birmingham comes up trumps.
“There are five or six top class universities in the region turning out 60,000 graduates a year, including a good number of the software engineers and highly skilled computer scientists that we need. Not only is it easier to recruit them, salaries tend to be significantly cheaper as well.”
Synapse recently received a £250,000 investment from the Government’s Technology Strategy Broad (TSB) to help fund its next stage of growth, including another 5-10 recruits in 2014. It has also secured a grant from Bournville College and plans to raise a further round of investment later this year.
Inward investment programme Business Birmingham, backed by the European Regional Development Fund, has supported Synapse by advising the firm in areas such as property and recruitment – and by raising its profile with potential clients and the media.
“Birmingham City Council and Business Birmingham have been enormously helpful, and there are a heap of support and network organisations here that focus on the hi-tech sector. It’s been great for us. The clients are here. The talent is here, all in quite a concentrated area, and it is very affordable. We wouldn’t be anywhere else.”