Birmingham Is Fastest Growing City | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Birmingham Is Fastest Growing City

Birmingham has been ranked as the UK’s fastest growing city to live and work in, reports Michael Francis

This is according to research carried out by PwC and think-tank Demos, who recently published their annual Good Growth for Cities report. Whilst Birmingham ranks first as most improved city in the report in comparison to last year, Birmingham however, still ranks only 32nd in the overall Good Growth for Cities Index.

The report highlights that Birmingham in particular has most improved in: work/life balance, income distribution, and new businesses. These improvements can be seen in the ongoing regeneration of Birmingham city centre. The redevelopment of Birmingham New Street Station, and the opening of Grand Central shopping centre in 2015 serve as the city’s most recently completed major regeneration projects.

Ongoing major projects in the city centre include: the extension of the Midland Metro tram line, the construction of Arena Central, and the construction of Paradise Birmingham on the site of the old Birmingham Central Library.

In the future Birmingham can expect to see the reopening of Birmingham Curzon Street Station for High Speed Rail 2 in 2026. Additionally, Birmingham remains the only city to have submitted a bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

In terms of jobs, Birmingham has seen a fall in unemployment. According to the Office of National Statistics, Birmingham’s unemployment claimant rate fell to 6.2% in July 2017. Birmingham is expected to look forward to more employment in the future from major companies with thousands of HSBC jobs moving to Birmingham from London to name one of many. HS2 is also expected to generate jobs from the city and region.

Another contributing factor towards the improvement of regions outside London was the introduction of Metro Mayors last year including Andy Street in the West Midlands. Although, the report finds that greater devolution for cities like Birmingham has already had a positive effect, the introduction of the Metro Mayor has itself not affected Birmingham’s index score.

Areas surrounding Birmingham have also seen some encouraging signs from the report. Wolverhampton and Walsall were both ranked as the ninth fastest improving cities. Coventry, whilst ranked as the eighteenth fastest growing city, is also ranked eighth in the Good Growth for Cities Index.


2nd December 2017 at 9:00 am

Images from

James Moore