Let’s talk about Birmingham…
Now, I know that conversations rarely start well with when someone says ‘lets talk’ but rather like today’s subject, I want to move away from the archetype.
Birmingham once from a stigma of undesirability: dirty, industrial, physically scarred by WW2, the infamous pasta styled road junction and in more recent years, thanks to one academic paper, known for having a regional accent that saw locals perceived as more intelligent when they didn’t speak! I think it is fair to say that Brummies, like my grandfather, took this all rather phlegmatically and stoically strode on with an innate conviction of their own worth.
And it seems that they are having the last laugh, with Birmingham now ranked in the top 50 cities worldwide for its quality of living (Mercer: https://mobilityexchange.mercer.com/Insights/quality-of-living-rankings)
On a practical level, the ever continuing need for houses within the UK, and the desire to reclaim brownfield sites, has spurred on a number of urban regeneration plans. Being no exception, Birmingham City Council has published the ‘Big City Plan’ an ambitious 20-year visionary framework that seeks to embrace this change. Regardless of my familial bias, working in development finance for BLG, I can say that Birmingham really does have a lot to offer by way of infrastructure and is looking to improve further with extension of the HS2 and existing tram networks. The iconic Bullring provides a plethora of shopping options, but you are by no means limited to this area. On my personal to-do list (and this is unabashedly shoe focussed) is an appointment at the Rachel Simpson showroom, which slightly further afield. Overall, Birmingham overs the same amenities and distractions that you would expect of any major city.
When pondering this blog, my grandfather’s saying ‘not an architectural gem but functional’ sprang to mind. He had a habit of saying this, along with ‘better to be underestimated’. I can’t help but feel that even as he moved south for my grandmother and lost his accent, he still channelled those Brummie roots. I also think he might have used that first phrase about my grandmother when he wanted to be provoking!
Blog by Alexandra Phillips, Credit Operations Manager for BLG. March 2019