Birmingham and the West Midlands On the Up

After many years of being the poor relation of London, and more recently Manchester, Birmingham (and the wider West Midlands) is reviving through growth in the automotive sector as well as a stronger Arts and Media sector. It also has the new landmark Central Library, opened in 2013 at a cost of £188m

The region also has some very strong Universities, which are heavily involved with local industries and environmental initiatives such as “smart cities”
With the popularity of Jaguar and Land Rover cars, along with the more top-end Aston Martin’s the need for local engineers has majorly increased, such that companies like Bentley in Crewe have lost a lot of their trained fitters to JLR (Jaguar Land Rover).

For Coventry University (for example) the work on smart cities, and the creation of a City Lab, is in close co-operation with Coventry council, following the following outline:

“The project will demonstrate at scale, and in use, the additional value that can be created by integrating city systems. The project will enable businesses to test in practice new solutions for connecting and integrating individual city systems, and will allow cities to explore new approaches to delivering a good local economy and excellent quality of life, whilst reducing the environmental footprint and increasing resilience to environmental change.”

Birmingham’s Colmore Business District (CBD) is an expanding business improvement district (BID), established to project manage improvements and services to the business quarter of Birmingham.

The CBD area is Birmingham’s major concentration of professional and business service companies, with around 500 companies in the District employing approx.. 35,000 people. CBD’s diverse business community provides quality services and expertise to regional, national, and international clients.

Solihull also has a Business Improvement District based around NEC and the airport business parks, which was renewed for another 5 years in November 2014. The Airport’s runway was extended so it can increase capacity and take larger jets, including the Airbus A380.

Birmingham and the West Midlands On the Up
WiderView Visual Media, Chris Roberts 28 January 2015
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