A range of major developments underway in Birmingham could give the city “a level of economic success we have not seen for 50 years”, according to a statement made earlier this week by council leader Sir Albert Bore.
More than a million square feet of new offices are planned to be constructed over the next two years. This is expected to cause growth of the city in general and create more jobs for the people of Birmingham. One of the proposed projects is the expansion of the City Centre Enterprise Zone, which was announced last week and is set to create an investment of £1 billion.
Foreign investment is playing a part in Birmingham’s economic growth too. Last month, it was reported that more than 6,000 were created in the Birmingham region following a total of 73 investments from overseas firms. New figures showed that the Greater Birmingham area received more foreign direct investment than any other local enterprise partnership zone in the country.
According to the new data, US firms were the biggest investors in the area, making up 22% of all investments. This includes big investments from hydraulics manufacturer HydraForce, which plans to set up in the Advanced Manufacturing Hub in Birmingham, and Virgin Media, which recently expanded their offices in the city, creating more jobs.
Overseas investment focused mostly on advanced manufacturing, which accounted for 40% of all investment. The manufacturing industry was closely followed by business, professional and financial services (30%) and IT and digital services (15%). Furthermore, the automotive industry was responsible for 51% of all manufacturing investments. This included Indian firm Amtek Auto Group, who created 100 extra jobs by building a new £5 million facility in Kidderminster.
Internet retailer Amazon expanded in Rugely, while the US taxi firm Uber set up a new office in the city of Birmingham. These two investments are said to be important reasons for local graduates and young professionals to want to invest in the region.
Additionally, charter flights have begun travelling between Beijing and Birmingham Airport. This is said to boost the West Midlands’ economy by £19m a year.
Andy Street, chairman of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), said: “Greater Birmingham has transformed itself into a globally recognised business destination for companies across a range of industries.
“”Foreign investment is helping to stimulate a private sector led recovery that is creating thousands of new jobs across the Greater Birmingham and Solihull area.”
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