Birmingham is a City with an important economic and cultural framework. Because of its infrastructure and its facilities – airport, university, a research park for business and technology research – the City is considered as one of the most developed cities of the West Midlands…
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Birmingham is a City with an important economic and cultural framework. Because of its infrastructure and its facilities – airport, university, a research park for business and technology research – the City is considered as one of the most developed cities of the West Midlands. The City’s council initiates a wide range of activities aiming to support effectively the needs of the residents. The economic development of Birmingham is examined in this paper; emphasis is given not only on the City’s current economic performance but also on its prospects for future growth. The strategic priorities for policy makers in Birmingham in the case that the City’s economic growth over the next 20 years would be initiated are identified and evaluated. After reviewing the existing plans related to the City’s economic growth it is assumed that the achievement of a further growth – over a period of 20 years – would be achievable under the terms that collaboration and communication in regard to the relevant initiatives are improved. 2. Birmingham – requirements for growth in the next 20 years.History of the town: The history of Birmingham is quite long. In accordance with the studies published on the particular subject, the presence of human in the region goes back to the Bronze Age (Birmingham, Voice of the West Midlands, History); Anglo Saxons visited the area around 700 A.D.; ‘the Medieval and Norman occupation’ (Birmingham, Voice of the West Midlands, History) of the area ended approximately in 1086; it was then that the land-owners took the control of the region occupation’ (Birmingham, Voice of the West Midlands, History). Under the influence of the industrial revolution, the City’s population has been continuously increased, up today. During the two World Wars the City suffered major damages; many of its residents participated in the Wars – and they did not return (Birmingham, Voice of the West Midlands, History). Also the City’s industrial infrastructure suffered significant damages during the above period. The restructuring and the development of the City was highly supported by foreign immigrants – it was during the 1950s and the 1960s that the City was developed significantly becoming today a major economic and cultural center in Britain (Birmingham, Voice of the West Midlands, History). The current economic and cultural status of Birmingham is reflected in the images of the town – see graphs 1 & 2 in the Appendix section. 2.2 Phases of economic development, economic characteristics The economic growth of Birmingham through the decades can be identified in the events that characterized the City’s establishment and development – as presented in the previous section. The current economic development of Birmingham is significant – compared to the financial turbulences that cities worldwide have to face. This trend is reflected in the reports published regarding the economic characteristics and the rate of the City’s growth. All of these reports are encouraging regarding the City’s current economic status and, especially, regarding its potentials for further growth. Moreover, the City’s Council has increased its efforts for generating funds necessary for serving the various social and economic needs of residents. In this context, ‘the Westminster, Birmingham and Manchester councils’ (Birmingham News Room 2011) have established a commission; the commission is based in Birmingham because the particular City is ‘the largest UK city economy outside of the capital’ (Birmingham News Room 2011). The above commission aims to identify at what level it is possible for the cities across UK to become independent – in terms of funding – from the central government (Birmingham News Room 2011). Today, Birmingham is an economic center in the West Midlands,
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