Birmingham: "Midlands Motor" for Business

Dubbed the ‘Midlands Motor’, Birmingham is fast becoming known as Britain’s business hotspot -- and for good reason. The UK’s Second City has attracted a number of large organisations including HMRC, the Prince’s Trust, Savills and Fusion, all of whom completed office transactions in Q3 of this year.

There are more where they come from, but what’s really interesting is that several new large-scale occupiers who are relocating their Birmingham office space are doing so on a flexible basis.

Office space in Birmingham

According to commercial property agent KWB, Instant Offices, a broker for flexible workspace throughout the UK, has been involved with a number of managed office agreements in Birmingham city centre. A managed office provides a bespoke workspace solution that’s fully designed, furnished and fitted-out office to the occupier’s requirements, yet it’s still operated on a flexible basis.

As noted by KWB, such agreements are becoming increasingly popular for large corporate firms:

“For companies that need space easily and quickly at a new location, traditional methods can be a hindrance. Instant Offices provides these occupiers with a managed office solution, an arrangement which provides not only the benefit of flexibility, but also fixed, known budgeting as well – with utilities and other occupational costs included within a single price.”

UBC operates a similar managed office service, which we provide to growing firms or corporates seeking a new branch office, without the hassle or financial risk of a long-term office commitment.

Given that the number of companies Instant introduced to managed offices in Birmingham is around 50,000 sq ft, or 8% of the total office space transacted in Birmingham this year, KWB rightly notes that it’s “a trend not to be overlooked.”

HS2 brings more business to Birmingham

A key factor in managed or serviced office space is its flexibility and rolling contracts, which is attractive for companies involved in project work.

As such, a number of companies moving into flexible office space in Birmingham are doing so because they are involved in Phase One of HS2 -- the new high-speed rail link between London and the West Midlands.

But companies are moving into the UK’s Second City for other reasons, too.

Last year, Knight Frank published a report that shed more positive light on the city, which they say has “cast off its image of motorways, industrial decline and urban unrest to become a budding centre for financial services, new technology and architectural showpieces”.

It referred to the city’s renaissance as being fuelled by the arrival of big banks and professional services firms, along with the aforementioned creation of HS2.

Having a central location in the middle of the country with an excellent transport infrastructure consisting of road, rail and air provides easy accessibility to all other parts of the UK -- including London, the ‘Northern Powerhouse’, and many other key business hubs.

In 2015, more than 6,000 people moved from London to Birmingham, more than any other UK city. Emma Gray, marketing director for Visit Birmingham, believes this trend is very much a lifestyle choice as well as a business decision.

“Businesses both internationally and domestically are looking for opportunities outside the capital,” she commented in a recent interview with the BBC. “They know that by being located in a central place like Birmingham they have the best of both worlds, they can get back to friends and family, and because they are in the middle of the country they can explore more.”

If you’re interested in growing your business in the UK’s Second City, take a look at our flexible serviced offices at 65 Church Street in the Colmore Business District and Birmingham Business Park in Solihull.