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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

Birmingham proves right fit for online retailer ASOS

E-commerce pioneer to create 20 senior roles in Digbeth to fuel global growth plans

Online fashion retailer ASOS is recruiting in Birmingham to fuel its global growth plans.

Famed for its fashion forward designs, ASOS is recruiting 20 senior positions in the city. The roles will focus on creating new company websites, tailored to the needs of consumers in growth markets including France and Germany. The number of roles in Birmingham could rise to around 50 over the next 12 months.

The company is opening a new Birmingham office at The Custard Factory in Digbeth – its first regional office outside the South East. The news comes a week after ASOS posted strong trading results for the three months to 28 February 2013. Retail sales were up 37% year on year, resulting in first half retail sales growth of 34% to £352 million.

It is ASOS’ international trading success however, which grew by 45% and now accounts for 59% of total retail sales, that is fuelling its Birmingham office opening.

Taking advantage of one of the UK’s largest digital sector talent pools and a growing specialism in e-commerce across the city, ASOS is confident of the key role Birmingham will play in its international expansion plans.

Pete Marsden, Chief Information Officer for ASOS, said of the expansion into Birmingham:

“As a company ASOS has grown, despite challenging economic times, because of the innovative approaches we take to meeting our customers’ demands. Our innovation comes from our people; we seek out and recruit the very best talent because we know that they are the key to our success. That is exactly what we are doing by creating a presence for the company in Birmingham.

“Last week’s trading statement highlighted that ASOS’ European growth is driven by strong performances in countries where the company has dedicated websites. Our new Birmingham team will work alongside our London Technology Centre to develop and tailor these sites to each market, putting it at the forefront of our future growth."

Marsden continued:

“We are an ambitious company, and are looking forward to settling into what we know is a very ambitious and talented city. Since we started our search for a new office location, our sense has been that Birmingham is a city with the talent, cost effectiveness, physical infrastructure, plans and will to help our business succeed. We’ve been welcomed with open arms and supported through every step by the Business Birmingham team, who we will continue to work with.

“Birmingham feels like a city that has some big plans and is on the cusp of big things. We wanted to get in there first.”

Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:

“Birmingham’s ability to attract major brands like ASOS demonstrates how the calibre of our talent pool, connected infrastructure, value for money cost base and crucially, the support services we as a city offer, is making us more competitive and enabling us to win vital business over other locations.

“As a city, we now have a very focused inward investment strategy that is delivering strong results in a competitive marketplace. Business Birmingham’s work with partners to identify key sectors including digital and IT, develop the tools needed to attract growing companies within them, and then finally win them for the city is working. We must continue to invest in the channels that are delivering jobs for Birmingham.

“ASOS has recognised that Birmingham is a city where it can build its business over the long term. I look forward to counting ASOS among the city’s biggest success stories.”

Marek Dobrowolski, Investment Manager at the city’s inward investment programme Business Birmingham – operated by Marketing Birmingham – commented:

“Birmingham is making a real name for itself as a home for digital businesses. With 40,000 students studying computer science or business in Birmingham each year, we have a strong local talent pool. Add to that our start-up friendly cost effectiveness when it comes to property and services, our quality of life and the genuine creativity that comes with our young population and the city stacks up as a genuine alternative to the traditional digital enclaves in the South East.

“We have been keen to support the company’s move to Birmingham – not only is it a highly successful retailer, but it is also an attractor brand – so people want to work with and for ASOS. Its decision to open in the city will help us put Birmingham’s offer for the creative and digital sectors in the spotlight.”

Lucan Gray, who owns the Custard Factory, added:

“Attracting a company like ASOS, particularly given its plans to recruit senior positions, is a great win for Birmingham and for Digbeth in particular. Digbeth has great things to offer digital businesses, including an existing eco-system of hundreds of digital enterprises and a deep resource of talented and experienced recruits.

“ASOS felt at home as soon as the team saw the Custard Factory.

“Working with Business Birmingham to present a unified offer that gave ASOS what it needed has, I believe, made the difference in attracting the company to Birmingham. When all this amazing city has to offer is brought together in a single package, it makes for a compelling proposition. I believe there will be many more digital businesses that will choose Birmingham when they understand what is here.”

Business Birmingham has been working with ASOS for over three months to encourage and support its move to the city. The programme’s strategy to target investors in sectors where Birmingham has globally competitive strengths, such as IT and digital, has helped the city buck recent trends. In the last financial year, Birmingham attracted a 37% increase in inward investment projects, compared to a decline of 2% across the UK.

In a further show of support for ASOS, Birmingham City Council’s HR team is piloting a joint recruitment programme with the growing company. This involves sharing best practice and resources, increasing collaboration, and supporting the Council’s drive to increase its partnerships with the private sector.

The Birmingham city region is currently home to over 80,000 companies, with the IT and technology sector accounting for a significant and growing proportion of the city’s economy, employing more than 63,000 people.

ASOS’ move north forms part of a wider trend for e-commerce in the West Midlands. In a 2011 study by online auction site eBay, Birmingham was named the UK’s fastest growing e-commerce city since the recession, with more than 1,000 new businesses having been set up there between 2008 and 2011, contributing over £18 million to the local economy.

The company joins e-commerce specialists Droplet and Tinyme, both of whom have decided to operate in the city over the past few months to take advantage of local knowledge in the sector.

ASOS is currently recruiting for senior software and database engineers, quality assurance analysts and development team leaders for its new Birmingham offices. Further information can be found at

The company expects its move to Birmingham to be completed by the end of April.

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