Recent figures have suggested that Birmingham has a remarkable story to share when it comes to attracting inward investment from outside of the UK.
When Business Birmingham was launched in April 2011 with no investor pipeline. Today, its Chief Executive Neil Rami revealed this creative change and new infrastructure has attracted the interest of more than 300 potential foreign investors, a huge leap from the launch when there was no investment network in place. With an unprecedented swell of foreign direct investment (FDI), Business Birmingham, the inward investment scheme operated by Marketing Birmingham has been a roaring success.
FDI projects for 2012/2013 registered a 52% rise compared to a national average increase of just 11%. This explosion in popularity followed hot on the heels of a 41% hike in FDI in 2011/2012. Other investments during 2012/2013 also reached new highs. s a result of this climb in investment, in excess of 4000 jobs were created and safeguarded, a move worth around £174 million to Birmingham’s economy each year.
When the figures for 2013/2014 are released in the coming months, further growth levels are expected to be seen.
Support services for inward investors
The city certainly has a large level of support for businesses. Larger scale infrastructure includes a £127m project that will see trams return to Birmingham city centre and the proposed HS2 could transform the economic prosperity of the city as well as Manchester and Leeds at the same time.
On a more practical level the City has developing business support services such as companies supplying marketing and direct mail in Birmingham, a flourishing design sector and a digital hub that is the envy of many locations.
Business Birmingham has identified the 4Ps that it believes has made Birmingham such an attractive place to invest:
People: analysis of the local labour market and talent pool, recruitment drives
Property: hot-desking facilities, personal accommodation is available at a reduced cost, extensive areas of free space
Process: a diverse range of business solutions including fee-free banking, project management plus legal and financial services
Profile: using the latest methods and markets to achieve coverage, including social media and networking events as well as workshops focussing on sales, advertising and PR.
The UK has the potential to be completely transformed by the implementation of HS2, with significant economic benefits. Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham are amongst the cities that will be connected, making internal travel quicker, easier and more efficient and thereby increasing the opportunities for growth.
Image Credit: Alex Liivet