University of Birmingham students are attending the National Union of Students' annual national conference this week.Written by James Phillips on 8th April 2014
New polls threaten Birmingham’s status as ‘Second City’
Recent polls carried out by Trinity Mirror Data Unit suggest that Birmingham is in danger of losing its claim to ‘Second City’, which it has claimed since World War Once, predo...
Recent polls carried out by Trinity Mirror Data Unit suggest that Birmingham is in danger of losing its claim to ‘Second City’, which it has claimed since World War Once, predominantly due to its size.
The city faces severe competition from Manchester, particularly because of the Northern city’s high-status football clubs, vivacious nightlife and vibrant music scene.
As well as people who live in Manchester, 28.8% of people outside the bounds of Greater Manchester consider it to be Britain’s second most important city. On the other hand, only 18.3% of those questioned who live outside of Birmingham consider it to be the Country’s second city. The other cities to make the top five were Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff, which came 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively.
It wasn’t only the claim to the throne of the Second City that Birmingham lost out on. It was also at the bottom of the 9-city league for accent, nightlife, architecture and culture. Birmingham’s growing northern competitor, Manchester, scored higher on the opinion polls in each of these category.
Birmingham did slightly better in terms of sport and in terms of being ‘friendly’, but only fractionally, coming 8th out of the 9 cities. It did however come 7th in the music chart, owing to its heavy metal heritage, spearheaded by Black Sabbath.
The voters did however consider Birmingham as reasonably priced. It was considered only the 4th most expensive city after London, which came first, Edinburgh and Manchester. And the city’s central position in the Midlands saw it fare well in the weather polls, as Birmingham came third for best weather, after London and Cardiff.
But other factors outside this poll suggest that the rest of the world nevertheless considers Birmingham an important city. Last year, The New York Times listed Birmingham at No.19 of its best places to visit, mainly owing to the reputation of the city’s restaurants. Their guide declared Brum the centre of ‘England’s heartland metropolis: big-shouldered, friendly and fun’.