Birmingham city centre back in business as office take-up soars


The Birmingham jobs market is going from strength to strength as office take-up swells in the city centre. Some major firms have secured premises in the area and it’s attracting more people to the city.

Birmingham has just experienced its strongest office take-up performance since the first quarter of 2020. The results, published by Birmingham Office Market Forum, show how the city has bounced back from the pandemic.

According to the data, total office take-up reached 242,901 square feet, spread over 19 deals in Q3 of this year. This is a rise from 203,499 square feet in Q2 2021. The results demonstrate two consecutive quarters of growth, which is a huge boost for the area. As employment opportunities open up in the city, alongside investment in housing and infrastructure, Birmingham offers a well-connected alternative to London living.

Big deals and opportunities in Birmingham

The deals include some of the city’s biggest landmark developments, including multinational built environment firm Arup relocating to Paradise Birmingham in Chamberlain Square. The move will bring around 1,000 new jobs to the Midlands city, with the campus spreading over 68,000 square feet. The campus at the 13-storey building should be complete in early 2023.

Flexible workspace company x+why has also secured premises at Brindleyplace and 103 Colmore Row. The Brindleyplace deal includes the first, second and third floors of the building, operating 40,000 square foot of space. The firm has chosen Birmingham as one of its first moves outside London as it expands.

Rupert Dean, CEO of x+why, commented: “When we have been looking for options outside of London to expand our business, it was important to us we chose locations which gave us the best opportunity to meet our targets and provide spaces which go far beyond only providing space in which to work.”

BT bringing thousands of jobs

BT also opened its new regional hub in the heart of Birmingham’s business district, in a 283,000 square foot office space deal. The Three Snowhill office, a 17-storey development, will employ around 2,200 staff initially. In the future, the office will accommodate around 3,500 employees from BT Group.

The telecoms firm is reducing its locations from 300 to 30 over the next three years. It believes there is still a future in working from offices, but it is focusing on a more hybrid approach. The company is allowing its employees to adopt “‘smart working’, where teams will choose how colleagues spend time between home and their office”.

Transport plans will enhance city centre

Birmingham council is currently revamping the city’s transport links and infrastructure in a bid to improve travel within the city. Alongside the increased activity that will come from new offices opening up, this will further serve to boost the location’s appeal as a place to live and work.

The city is going to be split into seven key “cells”. These will be the city centre core, Jewellery Quarter, Knowledge Quarter, Eastside, Southside, Westside and Convention Centre. To travel between zones, motorists will have to use a ring road. The intention behind this is to encourage people to use other modes of transport.

To support this, there will be a big push for pedestrianisation to make it easier to access areas on foot. The city already has blue cycle lanes, which Zaffar says have been hugely popular already. There are also already Voi e-scooters available across the town.

In the original transport plan, published last year, Zaffar said good transport is the “most important ingredient in ensuring that the benefits of Birmingham’s growth are felt in every part of the city.”

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Birmingham city centre back in business as office take-up soars


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