The Small Business Index 2019, which analysed the levels of external support, investment opportunities and rental values of Europe’s 100 biggest cities, ranked Birmingham as the UK’s top-performing city for growing small firms across all industries.
The UK’s so-called ‘Second City’ has long been one of Britain’s leading commercial centres, with businesses benefiting greatly from the city’s extensive transport links, state-of-the-art connectivity and a spate of regeneration projects that create new and exciting hubs and communities for industries to innovate and grow.
Thinking of setting up or moving your business to Birmingham? Consider the following X factors that could play a key role in your decision-making:
In terms of Birmingham’s location in the heartbeat of the UK, transport links to all four corners of the country are as impressive as it gets. With the M6 and M5 motorways connecting Birmingham to the north, south and the south-west of England and beyond, logistically the Second City makes sense for so many businesses that want to cast their net far and wide.
The High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) plans to create a new high-speed rail network could also see train connections between London and Birmingham slashed to just 43 minutes. This could make Birmingham a commutable city for London’s diverse talent pool. The city also boasts an international airport, providing intercontinental and transatlantic connections for firms looking to export goods and services overseas.
Talent pool in Birmingham
The city of Birmingham is well-stocked for universities with four within its boundaries: Aston University, Newman University, Birmingham City University and the red-brick, University of Birmingham. As of 2015, Office of National Statistics (ONS) data confirmed that some 228,500 of Birmingham’s workforce held qualifications at NVQ Level 4 and above. This gives growing firms access to young professionals with the skills and ambition to drive their businesses forward.
Looking back to the world’s Industrial Revolution, Birmingham benefitted hugely from urban migration and innovation. With this decade’s Digital Revolution in full swing, the city appears to be benefitting from graduates and young professionals moving to Birmingham. The city’s access to talent has helped attract inward investment from across Europe, as well as Silicon Valley. The result is that Birmingham is now home to more than 3,000 tech firms.
Support for businesses in Birmingham
Growing businesses can avail themselves of business support within the Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone, which has an overarching goal to create 40,000 new jobs and generate an additional £2 billion per annum to the city’s economy during the next 25 years. Birmingham City Council can also provide financial support to start-ups and growing firms with grants available, as well as regional debt and equity finance up to an impressive £1 million.
Collaborative and research opportunities are in abundance in Birmingham too thanks to its three science parks: Birmingham Research Park, University Science Park and Aston Science Park. Birmingham is also home to one of the British Library’s Business & IP Centres, providing a host of business workshops, seminars and advice services to entrepreneurs at the Library of Birmingham.
Available business space in Birmingham
Commercial property rents are said to be 58% cheaper in Birmingham than in London. When you consider how well-connected Birmingham is to the rest of the UK – and the potential for improved links with London via HS2 in the future – Birmingham makes sense for small and large businesses seeking modern, affordable and flexible business space to thrive.
At Pall Mall Estates, we have a growing portfolio of commercial property to let in Birmingham. Whether it’s feature-laden office space within a bustling business park or spacious, well-connected light industrial units, we’ve got plentiful opportunities for businesses to land and expand in the Second City.
Enquire about our great choice of commercial property to let in Birmingham today by calling 020 8986 7221 / 0121 288 0000, or complete our online enquiry form to get the ball rolling.