15 reasons I left London to move to Birmingham

BirminghamWorld editor explains why she left the bright lights of London for her home city of Birmingham after a decade of living in the capital

I’m a born and bred Brummie and so proud of my home city and I love living here.

But as a teenager back in the 80s I couldn’t wait to get out of the place - as fast as I could. Why my parents would leave the beauty of the west coast of Ireland for concrete collar Birmingham was beyond my comprehension - especially as so many of their relations moved to cool places, like New York!

After my A levels I got myself to New York on a Camp America scheme. It was great, but I was glad to come back Birmingham and Blighty.

I got a job at Britannic Assurance (when it was in Moseley) for a year - before I headed off to London to study Politics and Modern History at Brunel University.

Upon graduating I moved into a flat share in Clapham Junction and got a job in children’s book publishing in South Kensington. But despite the bright lights and buzz of London I came back to Birmingham as much as I could, moving back permanently after a decade in The Old Smoke.

I’m not the only person to quit the capital for Birmingham, the Second City of England. Latest statistics tell us that between 6,000 and 7,770 thousand people are leaving Birmingham for London each year since 2017.

In fact, Birmingham is the most popular city of choice for London leavers by some distance. If we look at the figures for 2020, there were 6,519 people who moved to Brum from London - with Brighton the second most popular city with 5,558. You can see the full listing in our story here.

And with HS2 there are some who believe this could escalate further. Some London publications have even referred to Birmingham as a ‘commuter city’.

But as the birthplace of the industrial revolution, home to world leading cultural icons like the Peaky Blinders and heavy metal  Birmingham is very much a city in its own right.

Here are 10 reason I quit London for Birmingham:

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