Business leaders who traded London for Birmingham say they have moved to a city of potential after new research showed more workers leave the capital for here than anywhere else.
Government data shows 5,480 thirtysomethings left London for Birmingham last year, making it a more popular choice than any other UK city.
Experts say they are drawn by lower property prices as they start to build a family.
Businesspeople who have made the move say Birmingham is a fruitful place to build a career and has the potential to grow further as a city.
Where are Londoners in their 30s moving to?
Amardeep Gill of Trowers & Hamlins, an international law firm which opened an office in Birmingham in 2011, believes the location of the city and its strong regional economy are major driving forces behind the recent influx of firms and talent.
He said: “The regional economy is a hub for high tech sectors, particularly in commerce, manufacturing and digital technology, which is attracting international firms such as ourselves.
“The city combines that economic strength with a very distinct personality. It has four Michelin starred restaurants, a world-class symphony hall, and an eclectic music scene. It’s a great place to live and work.”
Birmingham boasted 40 per cent more workers aged between 30 and 39 in the year ending June 2013 than any other city.
Bristol was next on the list, at 3,290, followed by Manchester, at 3,260.
In all, 58,220 people in that age range left the capital to work elsewhere last year, the highest number on record and a 10 per cent increase on 2010.
The peak London-leaving age for men is 36 and for women it is 34.
Among those to move to Birmingham to seek a new fortune was Tom Cullen, founder of lifestyle email I Choose Birmingham.
Mr Cullen, spent 12 years working in London but moved to Birmingham last year because he felt it was “difficult to get things off the ground” in the capital, citing the challenge of finding good accommodation for his young family and the high barriers to entry for new businesses and ventures.
He said: “All of the good things that have happened in London over the past 20 years are now happening in Birmingham. It is fresher, more vibrant and more personable than the capital. You can sense the aspiration and restless ambition of the place and its people.”
The largest single move out of London in recent years is Deutsche Bank, which is currently recruiting 1,000 people for its Brindleyplace office. That will mean in a matter of years the firm’s workforce in the city has grown from 60 to 2,000.
Richard McCarthy, managing director at Deutsche Bank Birmingham: “We have found Birmingham to be an extremely exciting business location with world class services. Its mix of professional services tenants and associated companies has created a natural micro-hub for the financial services sector and we believe that we could not get a better location in which to extend our significant presence in the UK.”
Neil Rami, chief executive of Marketing Birmingham, the inward investment agency for the city, said: “We are tearing down the concrete of the 1960s, transforming the city centre, and drastically improving our infrastructure. The substantial upgrading of Birmingham’s transport networks and its growing talent pool are making it easier for companies to set up a base in the city – and the success of sectors including financial services and digital media are enabling Londoners to build a career away from the capital.”
MOVES OUT OF LONDON
(Year to June 2013. Source: ONS)