Creative Brum: 3 Reasons Why Birmingham is Brilliant

By Guest Blogger Rebecca Coldicott @realiseagency

Creative Brum: 3 Reasons Why Birmingham is Brilliant

When I moved to Birmingham seven years ago, obviously it was partly for the bright lights, atmosphere and culture, but a big part was work-related. The opportunities Birmingham offered then were impressive, but the creative industry in Birmingham is now thriving even more, with 6,000 companies in the creative sector and the creative industries being worth over £71 billion per year to the UK economy.

Image used under CC BYSA 2.0 licence from hisgett on Flickr
Image used under CC BYSA 2.0 licence from hisgett on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/hisgett/

So, what’s fuelling all this success and what can we look forward to in the industry?

1. Top brands are choosing Birmingham

When the online retailer ASOS chose Birmingham as a major base for its digital work, they cited the local talent, cost savings and physical infrastructure of being right for their business growth. It only adds to the argument that, for many, Birmingham is only second to London in terms of the digital creative industry.

Custard Factory Image used under CC BYSA 2.0 licence from ell-r-brown on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/ell-r-brown
Custard Factory Image used under CC BYSA 2.0 licence from ell-r-brown on Flickr
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ell-r-brown

“It (ASOS) came here because we have a powerful feed of digital talent. It was struggling to get the staff in London. Here you can hire well and people will stay. That makes it much more efficient for business than if you have a freelance culture of people jumping in and out of a business, difficult to retain, as can happen in London.” Wouter Schuitemaker, Investment Director at Business Birmingham.

Custard Factory Image used under CC BYSA 2.0 licence from ell-r-brown on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/ell-r-brown
Custard Factory Image used under CC BYSA 2.0 licence from ell-r-brown on Flickr
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ell-r-brown

2. Our city centre is transforming

It’s an exciting time for the city (if a little painful logistically in the short-term!). Not only are we soon to see improvements across the heart of the city at Paradise Forum, New Street Station, The Mailbox, but the two main hubs for the creative industries are developing too.

Image used under CC BYSA 2.0 licence from sisaphus Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/sisaphus
Jewellery Quarter Image used under CC BYSA 2.0 licence from sisaphus Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/sisaphus

The development of the £1.6m Golden Square in the Jewellery Quarter and the £150m Beorma Quarter in Digbeth have both recently got underway and are expected to help drive further investment.

Digbeth and the Jewellery Quarter are increasingly becoming creative hubs for digital and creative companies, encouraging a range of digital and media content creation.

3. Our creative & digital communities are thriving

Birmingham’s tech start-ups and communities have long-been active, thanks to inward investment, entrepreneurs and innovation hubs. Our success stories such as Whisk and Droplet are gaining national credibility, as well as our growing community support and meetup groups such as Silicon Canal, Tech Wednesday and Glug to name a few.

Bullring Birmingham
Bullring Birmingham

Impact Hub Birmingham (following smashing their Kickstarter target and completing building works) are currently running their opening festival and offering 20% off memberships for attendees, and planning their official launch on 11th May. With their driven local ‘community of passion and purpose’, networking events and stunning event spaces for hire there are plenty of reasons to get involved.

This month also sees Birmingham Future host exclusive preview tours of The Mailbox and New Street developments, FIWARE Accelerate for startups on 13th May and the next Glug Birmingham on 4th June – so there’s plenty to look forward to in the near future as well!

About the Blogger

Rebecca specialises in digital marketing planning and strategy for marketing agencies and small to medium businesses. She currently runs Realise and can also be found on LinkedIn.

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