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MIPIM 2017: How to make sure the Birmingham boom is here to stay

Neil Harvey, Director of Ramboll Birmingham, explains why Birmingham needs to maintain its growth and development

This month saw Deloitte release its annual construction survey for Birmingham, which showed a record rise in both commercial and residential construction.

However this won’t have come as a surprise for those in the industry. The number of companies and employees re-locating to Birmingham is rising year on year, and doesn’t look set to stop.

The survey reported a 50 per cent rise in the amount of office space under construction, from 969,000 sq ft to 1,400,00 sq ft – the highest level of activity since the report began in 2002.

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Across multiple sectors, and at levels that range from start-ups to multinational companies, Birmingham is now one of the most sought-after locations for business.

Our Ramboll Birmingham office has itself been identified by the global board as a key area for growth, and we will be moving into new premises and more than doubling headcount in the next year.

As well as fuelling construction through its own development, the rapid national connections promised by HS2 will undoubtedly be key in encouraging further investment in the Midlands.

These are exciting times, but it is crucial that a strong focus is placed on creating livable urban environments, addressing the wider socio-economic issues such as transport, environment and sustainability.

If we get these aspects right, perhaps learning lessons from initiatives in other global cities such as Chicago, Singapore and Copenhagen, then Birmingham’s recent boom will here to stay.

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