Ricky Melrose, a 62-year-old electrician who had been supervising work during the restoration of the Town Hall, lives in a serviced apartment in Bennetts Hill.

Ricky, who comes from Edinburgh but travels regularly with his work, would normally stay in an hotel but was unable to find a room.

"Birmingham always seems to be very busy and on a lot of occasions there was no accommodation. We also wanted to be here a long time which is the main reason we ended up with serviced apartments.

"I feel you've got more privacy here than in an hotel you can come in whenever you want, maybe watch a bit of TV and you don't feel you are in the way. It's like your personal space. It also gives you more options - you don't have to eat in the hotel restaurant or drink in the hotel bar.

"I am here from Monday to Thursday and then I fly home. I work away a lot and if I am more than an hour and a half or two hours I will stay where I am working.

"My wife has been down to Birmingham to stay with me and she thinks it is great.

"Everything is on the doorstep.

"I can go from the airport to the station and to the flat.

"The only downside is it is in the middle of the city and can be a bit noisy when the pubs and bars empty."