Birmingham is a city on the up. But don’t just take my word for it – as the Financial Times recently stated:
The grand opening of Birmingham’s redesigned central station is the latest symbol of a city that has bounced back from recession stronger than most of its rivals, with higher levels of inward investment, faster export growth and better job creation.
I’ll expand on that with some numbers for you:
- 75 projects
- 4,800 jobs
The Greater Birmingham region secured more foreign investment than any other UK region last year with over 75 new projects creating over 4,800 jobs.
- £200 million
The Snow Hill masterplan is a £200 million redevelopment of the area around Snow Hill station in central Birmingham to create a financial district comparable to London’s Canary Wharf.
- 2,000 jobs
Deutsche Bank has expanded its local workforce from fewer than 30 to more than 2,000
- 1,000 jobs
Earlier this year, banking giant HSBC announced that it will be locating the national head office of its ring-fenced bank in Birmingham, resulting in at least 1,000 head office roles
- 10,000 young people
More than 10,000 people aged 25 to 34 moved to the city last year, the largest influx into any of the UK’s core cities.
- £500 million
- 3,000 jobs
- 1,000 new homes
Our ambitious ten-year Birmingham Smithfield plan to regenerate a 14 hectare site at the heart of the city centre will create job, build homes and continue Birmingham’s transformation.
Now of course success or failure can never truly be measured or illustrated by statistics alone but I’m sure you’ll agree that the figures I’ve listed paint a picture of a city that’s on the up.
And if you take a look behind the statistics you’ll find the stories that really matter. You’ll find the stories of Brummies doing what they’ve always done in challenging times – bouncing back.
There are many reasons for the successes listed above. If you like, it’s a team effort from enterprising individuals through to big multinational organisations. And I’m proud of the fact that the city council continues to play its part in the latest renaissance of a city that makes a habit of bouncing back from hard times stronger than ever before.
Take our efforts to attract entrepreneurs for example. With almost 20,000 new businesses created in the past year, Birmingham has become the leading start-up hub outside of London. That’s another statistic for you.
Businesses are attracted by a range of factors, including affordable rents, the close proximity of several universities and of course council incentives to invest in the city.
In listing big money schemes and developments, it’s most definitely not my intention to downplay the twin challenges of poverty and deprivation in this city. I entered politics to fight for the most vulnerable across our city and I will continue to do so.
That’s why job creation and economic regeneration matter so much. The jobs created by the initiatives listed above benefit people across the city and attract more people to make our city their home.
Investment in this city must benefit the many not the few and that’s the challenge that continues to motivate me.