There has been a lot of development in towns and cities throughout the West Midlands in recent years, and with a number of locations having undergone regenerations worth millions, house prices have increased as a result. During the last year alone, the cost of houses in the West Midlands was up by 4% compared to 2014 and up 10% since 2010.
In Birmingham in particular, the city’s regeneration has set it apart from others. In September, the redeveloped Birmingham New Street station will open after undergoing a £600m upgrade. This is only one example of how the city is improving its centre. Others include John Lewis opening one of its largest stores outside London in the new Grand Central shopping precinct, as well as the leisure scheme Resorts World Birmingham which is opening this spring after costing £150m. Last year alone, house prices rose 5% in Birmingham, meaning that the cost of housing is rising faster than some London locations.
Birmingham is only second to London for the number of companies operating within it. Birmingham is the home for Jaguar, Cadbury, pub chain Mitchells & Butlers, who operate 1700 pubs around the UK & National Express, who service the whole of the UK but their headquarters are based in Birmingham. Rolls-Royce Controls and Data Services Limited have a global presence but also maintain their head office in Birmingham.
With Birmingham very much seen as the UKs second city it is no surprise that plans have been made to connect Birmingham to London with a new high speed rail link. HS2 Limited is the company responsible for developing and promoting the UK’s new high speed rail network. It is funded by grant-in-aid from the government and can only aid employment levels and increase property prices.