A guide to serviced offices and office space for rent in Birmingham as well as general information that may be useful if you are thinking of renting office space in the city.
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands county of England, UK. It is the most populated British city outside London with a population of 1,016,800 (2008 estimate), and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the UK’s second most populous Urban Area with a population of 2,284,093 according to the 2001 census.
Birmingham was the powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution in England, which led to it being referred to as “the workshop of the world” or the “city of a thousand trades”.
Although Birmingham’s industrial importance has declined, it has developed into a national commercial centre.
Birmingham is a national hub for conferences, retail and events along with an established high-tech, research and development sector, supported by its three Universities. It is the fourth-most visited city by foreign visitors in the UK and has the second-largest city economy in the UK and often is referred to as the “Second City”.
In 2007, Birmingham was ranked as the 55th-most ‘livable’ city in the world, according to the Mercer Index of worldwide standards of living.
Locate in Birmingham state that Birmingham City Centre is the region’s major cluster with around 600 professional and financial sector firms and a driver of sector activity throughout the region. The city has 200 law firms, boasts a wealth of highly talented banking specialists, many top accountants, 50 major property services companies, and one of Europe’s largest insurance markets.
Two of Britain’s largest banks were founded in Birmingham – Lloyds Bank in 1765 and the Midland Bank in 1836.
Tourism is an important part of the local economy. With major facilities such as the International Convention Centre and National Exhibition Centre (NEC), the Birmingham area accounts for 42% of the UK exhibition and conference trade.
The city’s three Universities, Aston University, University of Birmingham and Birmingham City University and two University colleges have over 65,000 students and employ around 15,000 staff, contributing to the city’s economy as well as its research and innovation base.
According to the Drivers Jonas Office Trends Key Cities 2009 report, prime leasehold rents remained stable in Birmingham at £30 per sq ft. The market though has seen deals range from as low as £18 to £33 per sq ft showing the diversity of new space available in the market.
Despite the economic climate, the Birmingham office market recorded just under 1 million sq ft of transactions in the core city centre in 2008 – the highest level recorded for many years.
The primary source of demand during 2008 came from the professional and financial sectors.
Drivers Jonas’ Office Trends Birmingham Occupier Survey of 2009 found that, positively, fifteen per cent of respondents indicated that they intended to move in the next five years, with the main drivers being expansion plans and to upgrade their current facilities, while others were looking to reduce their costs. One thing Birmingham does have at the moment is a good supply of Grade A office stock, plus a wide range of second hand space and so respondents will have a number of options if they are looking to move.
The vast majority of those surveyed said they would like to stay in the city centre, should they move. Birmingham city centre has a large loyal occupier base, with most of the respondents having held a city centre address for more than a last decade.
Respondents of the survey stated that the best elements of their location were; “All of our clients are located in this area”, “Good network links to the rest of the country”, “The city centre is becoming younger, more vibrant and professional”.
Due to its inland central location, Birmingham is a major transport hub on the motorway, and rail networks. The city is served by a number of major motorways and probably the best known motorway junction in the UK: Spaghetti Junction.
The nearest airport is Birmingham International Airport, located in the Borough of Solihull to the east of the city. In 2008, the airport was the sixth busiest by passenger traffic in the United Kingdom.
Local public transport is by bus, local train and tram. The city’s main railway station, Birmingham New Street, is at the centre of the national railway network. Birmingham Snow Hill station, is another major railway station in the city centre, and a terminus for the Midland Metro which operates between the station and Wolverhampton, also serving the nearby towns of Bilston, West Bromwich, and Wednesbury. Birmingham has a large rail-based park and ride network that supplies the city centre.
Travel time between Birmingham and London is approximately 1hr 25 minutes by train.
Landmarks and Tourism
Birmingham is home of two of the country’s oldest professional football teams: Aston Villa, who play at Villa Park; and Birmingham City, who play at St Andrew’s.
Six times County Championship winners Warwickshire County Cricket Club play at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, which also hosts test cricket and one day internationals.
Two major developments have regenerated two parts of the city in recent years. Brindleyplace is a major canalside development with restaurants and office buildings along with the National Sea Life Centre. The other is the Bullring Shopping Centre which is the twelth largest in Europe covering over 23 acres. The Mailbox, a canalside development, features designer stores together with offices and apartments.
The National Indoor Arena is one of the busiest large scale sporting and entertainment venues in Europe.
The nightlife in Birmingham is concentrated mainly along Broad Street and into Brindleyplace. There are also a number of late night bars in the Irish Quarter.