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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’s visitor economy reaches all-time high in 2016

  • Birmingham’s annual visitor numbers and tourism revenue reach highest on record
  • 70,365 jobs supported by tourism sector

Birmingham welcomed the highest number of visitors on record in 2016, with tourist numbers reaching 39 million, and tourism revenue hitting an all-time high of £6.5 billion. The number of full-time jobs supported by the sector now stands at 70,365.

The figures have been released today by Marketing Birmingham’s research arm the Regional Observatory and tourism research body Global Tourism Solutions (GTS).

Significantly, visitor numbers represent a 2.5% increase on the figures achieved for 2015 – a landmark year for Birmingham, which saw over £1billion worth of investment in the city centre alone.

The region has attracted increasing numbers of tourists from key target markets including India, the US and the Netherlands. Visitors from China – another priority market for the city - generated the highest amount of expenditure per head.

Cllr John Clancy, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:

“Birmingham’s record visitor figures are ample proof of the growing appeal of its vibrant arts and culture scene, superb restaurants and unbeatable retail offer.
More than ever before, the public and private sectors are pulling together to attract investment into Birmingham, with the aim of diversifying and building on the region’s existing compelling offer.
“The city continues to attract visitors from across the globe, and this in turn is boosting both the Birmingham and regional economy, creating employment opportunities for local people.”

Events contributing to Birmingham’s upsurge in tourists and visitor spend last year, included: Edgbaston Stadium’s cricket fixtures (£17.7m); the Birmingham and Solihull Jazz and Blues Festival (£6.2m) and the Conservative Party Conference (£18.4m).

Key exhibitions included the BBC Good Food Show and Grand Designs Live - both at the NEC, and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) congress at the ICC.

2016 also marked the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s legacy, with tribute shows hosted by Birmingham’s Repertory and Hippodrome Theatres and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO).

The same level of confidence was reflected in Birmingham’s physical landscape in 2016. A rise in new and relocating businesses has seen office construction in the city reach its highest level in more than 13 years. Last year, 969,000 sq ft of office space was under construction – a significant boost from the city’s 10-year average figure of 384,000 sq ft.

Neil Rami, Chief Executive of Marketing Birmingham, added:

“Both domestic and international tourism peaked at a record high in 2016.
The strength of Birmingham’s visitor economy is not only boosting the city’s reputation as a leisure destination across the globe, it is also attracting further investment into the city’s transport routes and infrastructure.
“The combination of both a flourishing leisure offer and burgeoning physical landscape, has confirmed Birmingham as the number one ranking English city outside the capital for its quality of life.”

The figures, released by Marketing Birmingham’s Regional Observatory, also demonstrated 2016 to be the most successful year in history for Birmingham’s hotels, with occupancy rates for 2016 peaking at 99% capacity and averaging at 75%.

The local market is currently experiencing significant development activity, with 15 hotels at various stages of planning or construction, including a new Holiday Inn Express set to open this month and the Grand Hotel (2018).

The largest hotel to open in the city in 2016 was Park Regis Birmingham, with 253 rooms and two new restaurants.

Ian Dick, General Manager at Novotel Birmingham Centre, added:

“We’re seeing really high demand from visitors coming to Birmingham for many different purposes.
The hotel is right next to the bars of Broad Street and just a few minutes’ walk away from the Barclaycard Arena for fans going to sports and entertainment events.
The hotel also receives a lot of business travellers who want to stay somewhere close to New Street Station and have access to meeting and event spaces, as well as relaxation facilities like a gym and sauna.
“We’re seeing visitors from all over the world – the city is really promoting itself internationally and often tourists from overseas look for an international brand like Novotel.”

A number of sales missions took place during 2016 to promote Birmingham and the surrounding region’s leisure and business tourism offer.

City representatives attended international events including IMEX America and Destination Britain China, in partnership with tourism body VisitBritain.

Other events included Visit Britain’s flagship trade event in Liverpool, Explore GB; and the meeting and conference industry exhibition, The Meetings Show at London’s Olympia.

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