The project has been established on the basis that cities and city regions around the world are competing for investment, visitors, talent and positive media attention. The Birmingham Region needs to stand out in this crowded and competitive global environment. To realise the economic potential of this region we need to be clear about our competitive positioning and identity.
The project aims to consult with a broad range of people from across the area to give their views on the Birmingham Region’s competitive position and how it should be defined. This website is part of our consultation process. For details of our engagement plans, please refer to question 5.
Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) has commissioned Marketing Birmingham (MB) to develop a regional strategy that will strengthen the area’s reputation across global markets, in order to maximise economic returns for the region and ultimately the country and its people.
The GBSLEP’s investment in the project is in line with its Strategy for Growth and its ambitions to create jobs and grow the economy. This project will help define the positioning for the Birmingham Region and give people the tools they need to sell it nationally and internationally to prospects, customers, clients and contacts.
The object of this exercise is to define how we refer to and position the area and we feel that in order to understand views and opinions relating to ‘the Birmingham Region’ we are keen not to confine people’s thinking.
The project has been commissioned by GBSLEP, which is one of 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships set up by Government to drive economic development in England. Established in May 2011, it covers the geographic local authority boundaries of Birmingham, Bromsgrove, Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Redditch, Solihull, Tamworth and Wyre Forest.
This exercise specifically considers how we can better understand, position and maximise opportunities to promote the Birmingham Region and Solihull LEP area. However we will continue to work with partners from across the wider region including the Black Country, on a wide variety of projects and initiatives. We plan to keep neighbouring partners updated on this project through our usual communications channels.
Like most big and diverse cities, we have our challenges and while they cannot be sidelined, we must be conscious and proud of the unique draw we have as a global destination – and take pride in it.
This project aims to focus on telling the area’s more positive stories and case studies to influential national and international audiences and it’s important that as many people as possible have the opportunity to contribute towards this project and help shape the future prosperity of the Birmingham Region.
Over the past couple of years the media has gained a wider understanding of what this part of the world can offer – as a place to live, visit, invest and do business – has improved markedly. The national media is beginning to realise that we have a unique set of attributes and a dynamism that is allowing the Birmingham Region to grow rapidly.
If we take this year as an example of how the city continues to transform, 2015 is set to be one of the biggest and most exciting periods for Birmingham in over a decade: New Street Station will be complete and its retail ‘top’, Grand Central, will open anchored by a four-storey, 250,000 sq ft John Lewis store – the chain’s biggest unit outside the capital. The Mailbox’s £50 million redevelopment will be unveiled while the £150million Resorts World complex in Solihull – complete with cinema, four-star hotel and more than 60 shops and restaurants will open its doors – and in the process create 1,150 jobs.
The Rugby World Cup at Villa Park, the England v Australia Ashes Test Match at Edgbaston, Birmingham Royal Ballet’s 25th anniversary, the 300th anniversary of Birmingham Cathedral and the 50th anniversaries of both the Rotunda and the Ikon art gallery all add up to a pretty exciting year.
We must make the very most of these opportunities – and having our offer clearly and positively defined and communicated is the first, crucial step.
The time is now right to capitalise on this change, and build stronger recognition and understanding of the Birmingham Region as the incredible area we all know it to be. To do this, we must all be able to clearly communicate what it is that this area stands for, what it does best and where we believe we are going.
This project is a result of the GBSLEP Strategy for Growth, which has provided the foundations for this project. The Strategic Economic Plan outlines how the LEP and partners will deliver jobs and grow the economy and this competitive positioning project is being undertaken in advance of this process.
The aim of the project is to provide the blueprint for profiling and selling the area nationally and internationally.
The GBSLEP has commissioned Marketing Birmingham to develop a regional strategy that will strengthen the area’s reputation across global markets, to maximise economic returns for the region. Over recent months we have been working with a wide range of people across the area’s economic spectrum to help us with this challenge.
The competitive positioning exercise incorporates the following consultation techniques:
This project is definitely not a design-led exercise. It is more about creating a shared direction that will strategically strengthen Birmingham Region’s reputation across global and domestic markets.
The project is driven by the local business community, who recognise the power of collaboration in helping communicate the area’s story to influential audiences. This project aims to provide people with the tools they need to effectively represent and sell our area across domestic and overseas markets.
The competitive positioning exercise is anticipated to take place over a seven-month period and will produce the following:
Please tell us your thoughts on the website www.birminghamregion.com – there are four ways you can contribute:
You can give us your thoughts for one or all four sectors. Also you can help us spread the word and get members of your family, friends, work colleages to get involved, as we want to hear from as many people as possible as part of this exercise.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROJECT CONTACT: