Let’s talk about Birmingham

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


“We have used BLG for development finance for over 8 years. During that time we have found their knowledge and expertise in the property development industry to be second to none. Their loan process, pragmatic and flexible approach to lending and flexibility when required has supported our business needs throughout the period and provided us with support to deliver new homes in Bristol and the surrounding areas.”

“As property developers you never know the curve balls that you may get and a project that is great on paper may prove a bit more tricky.  This happened to us on a project that BLG have funded and throughout they have supported us.  Our business likes to be collaborative and when we hit those tough moments it really felt like we were working as a team with BLG.  If you have a decent project you can get it funded, but what you really need is a business that is there to support and advise you as well.  For us on this project it was BLG.”

“I approached BLG Development finance with an opportunity I had in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, to build 5 new build houses in 2021. My main contact was Anil Bains who is a Director covering Asset Management. Within very quick timescales, BLG provided me with indicative quotes in regards the finance levels they could offer me. Having considered those levels, I requested a valuation to be carried out which again was dealt with swiftly. We proceeded to completion. The build went very smoothly with monthly monitoring being carried out by BLG and monthly drawdown requests dealt with in a very timely manner. Due to a difficult time generally in the market in regards selling, I was in need of a six-month extension to the loan which again was appraised very quickly and granted. Having dealt with numerous funders over the last 20 years, I can only speak highly of my personal experience with BLG and would very confidently work with them again on any future projects. “

"From our side it has also been a pleasure working with BLG and the team there. We have found you easy to deal with, proactive in resolving any minor issues that have arisen through the project and shown great flexibility in working with us as a partner. We will certainly like to work with you on future partners."

“I really appreciate your hard work. We really like the way you communicate & I must say I haven't seen many people who are that approachable.”

“A very efficient processing team, dealing with the DD once deal credit approved, through to completion”

“Many thanks for your efforts on this one and getting it approved and sorted so swiftly, very much appreciated. I am sure I will be speaking to your over the coming months.”

“We had other funding options, but chose to use BLG again, as we work well with the team, who always provide very clear information and advice with a friendly approach throughout the funding process. Very efficient and always very helpful.”

“Many thanks Anil, it’s been a real pleasure working with BLG so far.  We’re lining up the next project too”

“We would recommend all staff we have dealt with at BLG, as we are very satisfied with the team and the initial offer/terms presented, then you and the funding team, through to the draw down team at valuation stage.”

“All documents are clear and the way you keep clients informed, all the way along the funding process, is refreshing for us”

“With regard to what should be improved at BLG, we work with many lenders in our business and we do not get the help and response we have had on the two projects with all at BLG on our funding for our developments.”

“We would particularly mention Dave Edwards and Tom Pitts as being central to having a smooth working relationship and being positive and helpful at all times. Their guidance in helping us navigate the project from inception to completion was invaluable. As was their patience, particularly at the beginning. We look forward to many future projects with the BLG team.”

“We would like to express our appreciation for your support on our development in Bristol. We were very pleased that, from the outset, you shared our vision of the project to convert a dated but classical building, that had outlived its usefulness as a school, into unique luxury apartments with views overlooking the city. We found our dealings practical and streamlined. Monthly payments were processed in an efficient and timely manner.”

“BLG are very good at communicating with clients and all documents are very clear and all at BLG are always happy to help.”

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