Features of Birmingham

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Birmingham has a rich and detailed history as one of the UK’s biggest and best cities. The distinctive accent, the history and multi-cultural nature of the city makes ‘Brum’ such a unique place to visit and experience. Here are some of the well-known features of Birmingham which make it such an attractive city in the UK.

It’s the second largest city in the UK

After London, Birmingham is home to the most people in the UK with a population of over 1.1 million people, higher than the likes of Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh and Liverpool.

The city has longer canals than Venice

Birmingham has an intricate canal system that dates back to the Industrial Revolution in which they were used to transport coal, iron and other heavy goods. This played a huge role in Birmingham’s development as a city and the 35 mile canal system within Birmingham itself dwarfs the 26 miles of canal that Venice has to offer. An interesting fact is that the entire Birmingham canal navigations make up 100 miles in total- that’s nearly as long as the distance from Birmingham to London!

It has 9 twin cities

Birmingham has to date nine sister cities that have modelled itself after it. These include Chicago, Frankfurt, Johannesburg, Lyon, Milan, Leipzig, Guangzhou, Changchun and Nanjing. Another interesting fact is that Birmingham, Alabama in the United States is named after the city and shares an industrial kinship with it, a nod to the legacy of Birmingham in the United Kingdom.

The industrial steam engine was invented here

Perhaps one of the most important inventions in British history, it was Thomas Newcomen who created the world’s first practical engine to harness the power of steam in 1712. Because of the importance of this, July 14th is now known as Black Country Day which marks the regions industrial heritage. James Watt would later design an improved version in 1776 that doubled its fuel efficiency.

Its Jewellery Quarter has the largest area of jewellery shops in Europe

Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter has the highest concentration of jewellery shops in Europe, with around 40% of the countries jewellery produced there. If you come across a fancy watch or necklace in a shop, fact is there’s a good chance it was made in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter!

It has a famous sporting heritage

Birmingham has a rich history as a hotbed of sports, with the original concept of England’s Football League and tennis both originating from the city. Its most successful football club Aston Villa have won 7 league titles and is one of only 5 English clubs in history to have won the European Cup. Birmingham will also host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

It’s the birthplace of heavy metal

Birmingham has had many pioneering heavy metal bands which include Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and half of Led Zeppelin having come from the city. Other famous musical groups and artists from Birmingham include Duran Duran, Electric Light Orchestra and Dexys Midnight Runners.

It has the largest public library in Europe

The Library of Birmingham is the largest regional library in Europe lending 8 million books every year. 2.4 million visitors came to the library in 2014, making it the 10th most popular visitor attraction in the UK.

It has a rich literary history

Many famous British writers and authors were born, raised or lived in Birmingham. Arthur Conan Doyle, famous for the Sherlock Holmes novels, worked in the Aston area of Birmingham. Poet W.H. Auden grew up there as did award winning playwright David Edgar. J.R.R Tolkien was brought up in Birmingham and several city locations inspired places in the Lord of the Rings trilogy- the books two towers were apparently based on the water works building at Edgbaston in Birmingham.

It’s one of the greenest cities in Europe

There are 571 parks in Birmingham- more than any other European city- totalling over 3,500 hectares of public open space. Sutton Park is the largest urban park in Europe and has a National Nature Reserve.

It’s the home of Cadbury’s chocolate

Cadbury’s is a British institution, being recognised as the maker of the countries favourite confectionary including the iconic Dairy Milk chocolate bar. This all originated in Birmingham as John Cadbury began selling tea, coffee and drinking chocolate in Bull Street Birmingham in the early 19th century. In 1854, the Cadbury brothers received a Royal Warrant as manufacturers of chocolate and cocoa to Queen Victoria.

It’s one of the most culturally diverse cities in the UK

Birmingham is home to people of many different backgrounds and ethnicities- including people of Indian, African, Caribbean and Chinese descent. An interesting fact about Birmingham is that the Punjabi bhangra music movement started in the city in the 1960s- it truly is a city that demonstrates Britain’s multi-cultural nature and the city have been influenced by this heavily.

Birmingham is a wonderful city filled with history, cultural movements and phenomenon’s, and superb infrastructure and architecture. Tarquin Jones offers a variety of investment opportunities at the heart of all I’ve mentioned here, including the high class One BHM development.

For more information on our latest investment opportunities, click on the Investments tab on our homepage. Alternatively, give us a call on 0208 445 6542 or email us at info@tarquinjones.com for more details.

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