By Claire West
Birmingham’s new economic zones are expected to bring £1.5 billion into the city and generate nearly 50,000 jobs by creating the right environment for enterprise, as announced at the launch of the city’s Economic Zones Prospectus on 25th September.
The event — held at Wragge & Co — brought together leading business figures across the city to highlight how the zones will support one of the UK’s most ambitious inward investment strategies.
The six zones align the city’s planning and economic priorities, creating the opportunity for new tailored space, facilities and support for sectors identified as having the greatest impact on attracting inward investment. These include business & professional services; creative & digital media; advanced manufacturing; life sciences; food & drink; and IT, electronics & communications (ITEC).
The zones — devised following research from Birmingham City Council and collaboration with inward investment programme Business Birmingham — will be based at the following sites, which altogether will create £1.8 million sqm of new floorspace across the city:
The event also unveiled further details of the Advanced Manufacturing Hub — the first zone to be rolled out to investors, which is available for immediate occupation. It mirrors the strength of the region’s manufacturing sector, worth nearly £12 billion* to the local economy.
Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:
“The launch of Birmingham’s Economic Zones Prospectus demonstrates the city’s ambitious vision to become the UK’s enterprise capital. Unparalleled collaboration between partners across the city, including Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP, Birmingham City Council, Business Birmingham and the city’s property community, has created a pioneering blueprint for Birmingham’s future economic landscape.
“There is an increasing need to make Birmingham’s economic development globally relevant, creating a sustainable economy that will attract international investment, deliver jobs for our residents and enable both existing and new businesses to thrive here. Our economic zones — led by the city’s new Advanced Manufacturing Hub — form a proposition that international investors cannot ignore, and will become the cornerstone of our economic success for decades to come.”
Neil Rami, Chief Executive of Marketing Birmingham — which operates Business Birmingham — said:
“The economic zones will become a crucial factor in Birmingham’s ability to land inward investment. Since launching in April 2011, Business Birmingham has directly supported the creation of 3,000 jobs — and the zones will help us build on this success during the current economic climate."