26 March 2013

Birmingham is the top city for business growth

Business centres outside of London performed remarkably well in a recent growth survey conducted by Growth Accelerator, with Birmingham coming top of the pile based on particularly strong performances from companies in the software market and business services.

Areas of growth

Some 3,000 businesses were canvassed in the survey, with Birmingham coming ahead of Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and Bristol, which followed closely behind. Other business centres outside of London are performing particularly well, with Brighton and Hove and County Durham also featuring in the top ten.

Simon Littlewood, director of GrowthAccelerator said: “Whilst the business locations identified are showing distinct levels of ambition and positivity amongst firms there, it’s clear that the appetite for growth is not limited to specific regions.”

“Independent of where they are located, we are seeing a common need among these firms for national and international market connections, with 88% expecting to grow their businesses through new market entry.”

Reduced availability of office accommodation

A separate independent study has revealed that top grade office accommodation in Birmingham city centre has shrunk to its lowest level of availability for five years. According to Colliers International, just 891,000 sq ft of space of vacant prime stock is on the market following four consecutive years of attrition, at an average rate of 9% per year.

Alex Tross, associate director in the office agency team at Colliers International, said it’s no secret that there are major outstanding enquiries in the financial services, insurance and legal sectors. This has led to demand for Grade A space eclipsing supply, which is likely to continue to accelerate as economic conditions improve. Mr Tross added that occupiers were now starting to wake up to the looming stock shortage.