Birmingham street<br />

Birmingham is Europe’s best performing city

Birmingham has been named as the best performing European city in which to do business, having risen more places in Cushman & Wakefield’s influential European Cities Monitor than any of its competitors.

It is now second only to London in the UK for business.

Birmingham now occupies the 14th spot amongst a total of 34 across Europe. It is not only the city to have made the biggest rise in the rankings (up seven places), but has also risen in 11 of the 12 key rankings, outperforming all other UK cities in this year’s report.

Birmingham was recognised among Europe’s corporate community as offering the best value for money office space (ranked joint first with Leeds); and was in the top ten for availability of qualified staffed, availability of office space, ease of access to markets and for having a network of external transport links.

Councillor Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Birmingham is investing heavily in its public infrastructure and for the benefits that this affords to the business community to be recognised not just here at home, but importantly amongst our peers across Europe is extremely gratifying.

“The findings mirror the momentum and vision we have for the city and are the result of five years of hard work.

“For those already based in this great city there was no doubt as to its status and strengths, but to be recognised by others as the UK’s premier city outside the capital shows that Birmingham really does mean business.”

The report’s findings come less than a week after it was announced that the newly formed Office for Legal Complaints (OLC) had chosen Birmingham as its national base.

Among the reasons the OLC chose Birmingham were its talented labour pool within the legal sector; its diverse range of commercial property options; and its excellent transport links – all factors on which Birmingham scored highly in today’s report. The OLC development alone is anticipated to create in the region of 350 jobs in the city.

Other significant business expansions in to the city include Deutsche Bank, which since opening its operational processing centre at One Brindley Place last year, has created in excess of 500 jobs.

More recently Amey, one of the UK’s leading public services companies, announced its intention to open a new International Design Hub at Colmore Plaza in Birmingham.

Neil Rami, Chief Executive of Marketing Birmingham said: “This is excellent news. Birmingham is now viewed as Europe’s fastest rising investment prospect by the international business community. The city is ranked among Europe’s top ten best cities for its access to markets, qualified staff, transport links and its availability and value for money of office space.

“Whilst the dramatic rise in Birmingham’s performance may seem sudden, it is undoubtedly the result of many years’ collective hard work by a number of people across the city.

“We can see the results of these efforts with recent investments such as Deutsche Bank, Amey and the Office of Legal Complaints. The priority now must be to ensure these improved perceptions convert into more deals, investment and much needed jobs.”

Martin James, Head of Site for Deutsche Bank, Birmingham said: “The fact that Birmingham has faired so well in this report comes as no surprise to the team here at Deutsche Bank. When we were considering where to set up our near-shore location to London, a key consideration was the availability of talent in the local market, and Birmingham having a maturing financial centre certainly met that need.”

Alan Chatham, Co-Founder of Birmingham Development Company – one of the city’s most influential developers – added: “With over 20 years’ experience in the property development business, much of it in Birmingham, I have seen this city transform itself.

“Once run down areas now offer some of the most visionary office, retail and leisure facilities available on the market today. The property pool is diverse in its offering and for all of this to be recognised by the business community across Europe is a ringing endorsement of Birmingham as the truly global city it is becoming.”

The European Cities Monitor (ECM) is the annual location survey of Europe’s leading companies carried out by global real estate consultant Cushman & Wakefield. The survey, undertaken by market research firm TNS BMRB, is based on interviews with 500 senior executives from leading European companies. It looks at factors regarded as important by companies when deciding where to locate, and then compares the performance of 34 of Europe’s leading business cities on each factor.