12 reasons Birmingham is the best city in the world to live in

Three-quarters of BBC Newsbeat staff don’t want to move to Birmingham - but look at what they are missing out on!

BBC Newsbeat staff are declining an opportunity to move to Birmingham - with three quarters of the workforce saying they don’t want to move outside the capital.

The move is part of the BBC’s plans to create a “centre of excellence” for TV production in Birmingham - with Digbeth, one of our coolest neighbourhoods, named as the likely base for the new site.

But a report in the Guardian says that BBC employees don’t want to relocate here!

Some have told the newspaper that they fear leaving the capital will put them too far away from the influence of top BBC execs who are based in London, and they are worried about losing their London-weighting on their salaries.

But BirminghamWorld says this is a small price to pay for the opportunity to move to one of the best cities on planet Earth.

Here are our the best reasons why Birmingham is the best city to live in:

Rotunda on a sunny autumn day in Birmingham city centre

1) Thousands of Londoners have already made the move

Anyone leaving the capital for the second city will find they are in good company - with thousands of Londoners who have already relocated here.

Pre-pandemic figures showed that 20,160 people left the capital for the second city between 2015 and 2017, with Birmingham being the most popular destination for people leaving the capital to - ahead of Brighton.

2) More affordable

BBC staff might lose their London-weighing if they leave the capital - but Birmingham is more affordable, so they may find they are actually better off living here.

House prices are much cheaper. The average house costs £231,977 in Birmingham. In London it is £659,000. Rent is much cheaper too. Average rent London £1,572 in Birmingham £1,103 per calendar month. Despite being located within 50 miles of London, pretty much everything else is less expensive in Birmingham too. The price of a pint Birmingham is £4.34 where as in London it’s £5.19.

Birmingham city centre

3) The youngest city in Europe

Birmingham is a great place to live and work for youngsters and our city has the youngest population in the continent, with under-25s accounting for nearly 40% of our population.

There are over 400 schools, 15 universities and three University colleges within one hour’s drive of the city. With a youthful spirit and relentless drive It’s no wonder that Birmingham also has a thriving start-up business scene too with hundreds of creative businesses breaking through. The city remains a champion of innovation since it’s days as leader of the industrial revolution.

Celebrity chef Glynn Purnell

4) Delicious dining

Birmingham has one of the best dining scenes in the country. It encompasses French fine dining, global fusion, craft cocktails, local brews and more.

The city is home to six Michelin star restaurants - the highest number in the UK outside London. There’s Adams, Opheem and Purnells in the city centre, Carters in Moseley, Peel’s in Solihull and Simpsons in Edgbaston.

There are many other brilliant independent venues offering fantastic, innovative food too - The Wilderness in the Jewellery Quarter and Craft at the ICC to mention just two.

Popular London wine brand Vagabond is one of the latest venues to join the scene - Birmingham is the first city it has chosen for its expansion, we fully understand why.

Manchester’s Albert Schloss is another exciting venue about to open too.

The city is renowned for its baltis and we can’t mention our food scene without  we recommending a trip to our world famous Balti Triangle which has hosted the likes of David Cameron among others.

Birmingham Royal Ballet is performing The Nutcracker at the Hippodrome this Christmas

5) Thriving culture scene

There is so much culture to enjoy in Birmingham - the city even has its own ballet - Birmingham Royal Ballet - and orchestra - City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

There is an abundance of theatres featuring star-studded productions, art galleries are aplenty and we host some of the most colourful and energetic festivals you could ever imagine.

Its iconic Library of Birmingham is the biggest public library in Europe, which  is also home to one of the largest Shakespeare collections in the world and the famous Shakespeare Memorial Room, dating from the Victorian era.

6) Exciting transformation attracting big business

Birmingham is one of the fastest transforming cities in the world.

Even Brummies are amazed at how quickly Birmingham is changing.

The re-opening of New Street Station in 2015 heralded a whole new era for the city - and it hasn’t looked back.

The skyline is changing dramatically with a host of new developments underway - from HS2 Curzon Street Station to Paradise to The Octagon.

Digbeth, where BBC Newsbeat, is due to be based one of the areas benefiting from the investment with the tram being extended to run down the High Street and the historic River Rea being opened up.

The regeneration is attracting big business with Goldman Sachs and HSBC both opening up huge hubs in the city centre.

Perry, the official mascot for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, poses outside Buckingham Palace (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

7) Commonwealth Games

Birmingham is currently gearing up to host the biggest event it has ever hosted - and the biggest event in the UK in the last decade.

Excitement is building every day for the Commonwealth Games which will see Top athletes from the 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth compete in 286 sessions of sport across 19 different sports over 11 days of competition starting on July 28. There’s a Commonwealth Games Festival surrounding  the event with plenty of amazing performances to enjoy too.

So get your running shoes on and get up to Birmingham in time to join the action.

Rate of burglaries : 57.14 (per 1000)

8) Shout out to Digbeth

BBC Newsbeat really is moving to a prime spot. Situated just outside the city centre, Digbeth is known as the Creative Quarter and has been hailed as one of the coolest places to live in Britain.

From colourful street art to a zero waste supermarket, Digbeth has it all and it’s a a popular spot for BCU students.

The Custard Factory oozes inspiration with rich industrial heritage and present-day collection of independent shops, creative and digital businesses and events spaces. There’s always something going on.

There’s some brilliant hospitality venues including some exciting competitive socialising opportunities at Ghetto Golf and Roxy Ball Room.

Hollywood hero Steven Spielberg chose Digbeth, which is just a stone’s throw away from BCU’s city centre campus to film his sci-fi action-adventure blockbuster Ready Player One.

(Photo: BBC)

9) Birmingham inspired iconic films and TV

It isn’t just Steven Spielberg who chose to film in the city.

Birmingham has inspired many renowned film and TV series.

Peaky Blinders may be flying the flag for the city on national television but the inspiration for one of the most famous film franchises in the world also came from Birmingham.

JRR Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings, which was turned into an Oscar-winning film trilogy, grew up in Birmingham. During 1895 to 1911, Tolkien lived in nine homes in the south of the city, including King’s Heath.

He also spent a lot of time in Hall Green, where Moseley Bog and Sarehole Mill would go on to provide the inspiration for the iconic series.

Line of Duty was also filmed here along with The Gadget Show and you may have heard that Tom Cruise was recently in town to film seventh instalment of the Mission: Impossible franchise.

Line of Duty stars Vicky McClure and Martin Compston, who play Kate Fleming and Steve Arnott in the popular drama. (BBC/World Productions/Steffan Hill)

10) More canals than Venice

This one sounds pretty ludicrous, but yes, Birmingham does in fact have more canals running through it than the prestigious Italian town. Venice has 26 miles of canal while Birmingham has 35 miles.

According to the city council, most of these canals were built in the 1700s and 1800s and at its height, the Birmingham Canal Navigation had more than 170 miles of them.

As the industry declined, over the years canals fell into disrepair. However, many have since been restored and their surroundings improved with modern developments for the locals and tourists to enjoy.

St Paul’s Square in the Jewellery Quarter

11) Sparkle in the Jewellery Quarter

One of the main things Birmingham is famous for is the historic Jewellery Quarter, where 40 per cent of all jewellery in the UK is produced – the highest concentration in Europe.

It’s a little known fact that both of the Wimbledon men’s and ladies’ singles trophies were made in Birmingham in the 19th Century.

Today the Jewellery Quarter is home to some of the city’s most desirable residences and has some great food and drink venues - while maintaining its historic links to the jewellery industry.

12) Birthplace of Cadbury’s

From trophies to chocolate - yes, Birmingham is the birth place of Cadbury’s chocolate.

Not only is this a great thing to boast to all your friends about, but you can also visit Cadbury World and eat as much chocolate as your stomach can handle.

Lickey Hills

12) Keeping the best of both worlds

To live in London, you have to be fairly committed to living in a busy urban environment, as there aren’t many parts of the city that aren’t densely populated. On the other hand, you don’t have to make that choice in Birmingham because the countryside is so close and there are many quieter parts of Birmingham that have a small town feel to them. Plus, Londoners get to stay within close proximity of their old home town when they choose Birmingham, so they get the best of the country and city while also keeping close contact with their previous home.

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