The Economist Group

Global media company The Economist Group launched a new technology innovation unit in Birmingham – its first UK base outside of London – to support the development of its in-house technology capabilities.

Initially creating 45 jobs, the company’s new office is set to double in size in its first year and will also offer graduate and apprenticeship training opportunities.

Home to world-class universities and more software developers, programmers and software architects than any other regional city in the UK, the company chose Birmingham because of its talent pool and established community of technologists.

Andrew Williams, The Economist Group’s Chief Digital Officer, said:

“We’re keen for our team to become part of the fabric of Birmingham’s booming technology sector. We’ll be inviting colleagues from the technology community to join us in leading training sessions and workshops, in the spirit of sharing knowledge and driving innovation across the sector.”

The West Midlands has the largest tech and digital cluster outside of London, with an estimated 12,450 companies employing around 64,900 people. The region’s businesses cover core specialisms in Fintech, Transport Technologies, Medical Technology, Gaming and Food Technology.

Acting as dedicated consultants, the West Midlands Growth Company (WMGC) helped The Economist to understand more about Birmingham and why the city’s technology community suited the needs of their business.

Mr Williams said:

“We did an exhaustive search before landing in Birmingham. Aided by colleagues at the West Midlands Growth Company, we were able to experience the city and its impressive technology cluster to get a flavour of what it’s like to live and work here.

The WMGC also assisted with the logistics of establishing the company’s new offices, drawing on existing relationships with commercial contacts to facilitate tours of office spaces around the city and help them to find the right fit.

In addition to supporting the company with the physical relocation, the WMGC worked closely with The Economist’s communications team to promote the investment, delivering a launch event and targeted media campaign that secured coverage in national and regional media titles.

Mr Williams added:

“The support that we’ve received from the Growth Company and our peers already based in the city has allowed us to settle in to our new home confidently and with ease.

“We are committed to our future here and look forward to welcoming other digitally-focused, global brands to Birmingham’s thriving technology community, which we are already proud to be a part of.”

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