At 5%, Birmingham’s unemployment rate is considered one of the highest in the UK—and that’s before the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions happened and despite the creation of new jobs in the West Midlands!
Then the absolute worst thing happened: the Covid-19 pandemic and country-wide lockdowns and restrictions.
For Birmingham in general the pandemic and its restrictions were a hard time, but for the Southside District, home to the city’s cultural heart with landmarks like the Chinese Quarter, the Gay Village, and numerous well-loved and hugely popular entertainment and cultural venues, restaurant, pubs, and bars, it was a death sentence.
Because the Southside relied heavily on visitors and tourism, the lockdowns were harrowing and for many businesses that shaped the district’s culture and history, it was the end of the line.
But the Brummie spirit could not be denied. With the easing of the Covid-19 lockdowns and the city hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games, the Southside got back up on its feet and made a successful comeback.
The Southside Business Improvement District: Engineering A Revival of Birmingham’s Cultural Heart
Southside, Birmingham’s triumphant turnaround in recent times is, in part, because of the efforts of the Southside Business Improvement District (or, Southside BID team).
Established in 2011, the Southside BID team has been working closely with local businesses for the improvement of the district.
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It is also responsible for improving traffic and creating better and safer pedestrianised and cycling lanes especially around the Birmingham New Street Station, as well as in areas around Hurst and Hill Streets.
The South BID team is also heavily involved with lobbying efforts to invite new businesses to invest, open, or relocate into Southside, and for regeneration projects like the commercial and residential developments.
Regeneration And New Build Property Developments To Attract New Business, Employers, And Raise Demand For Housing
The lobbying for the entry of new businesses and the regeneration projects are targeted especially to serve the community and to encourage the creation of new jobs.
Not only that, but Southside is a great location for professionals and families who need to live close to the city centre for work and school. Learn more about by reading our Southside property investment article---click this link.
Being close to the city centre, to the business and office quarters, to transport links, shops, and schools, the Southside is an ideal residential area for professionals working in the city centre, as well as the students and families that live and study close by.
Making The Most Of The Halo Effect Of The 2022 Commonwealth Games On Employment In The Southside
Dr. James Davies, a Research Fellow in the Department of Economics at the City-REDI, of the Birmingham Business School of the University of Birmingham, stated in an article regarding the 2022 Commonwealth Games that, “Short term benefits are often visible opportunities directly related to the event: contracts with local businesses, live music events, local businesses benefiting from sponsorship or public grants, as well as increased visibility and international exposure.”
This is true for any city that has hosted a mega-event—an event equivalent in prestige, visibility, size, and commitment such as the Commonwealth Games, or bigger—and especially in the case of Birmingham which is often considered one of the lesser cities.
The successful hosting shows that Birmingham with its quarters and districts all rising to the occasion is capable of not only short-term and temporary successes, but it is ready for more longer-term achievements.
Can This Short-Term Effect Become Long-Term Employment Growth?
In one word, yes. The Commonwealth Games, at least in the economic sense, did a superb job of showcasing the city to the world.
It announced that the city was more than capable of hosting mega-events (and providing entertainment for visitors who came into the city for the Games—Southside, we’re looking at you).
That it is ready to host more than 1.5 million visitors who may want to visit Birmingham again for business, shopping, schooling, entertainment, or cuisine—or all of the above.
But Short-Term Success Needs To Be Guided To Become Long-Term Success
However, Dr. Davies notes that to take a short-term boost to jobs (around 35,000 jobs) and turn it into sustained long-term economic growth, the city council needs to enact a different set of policies and guidelines, similar to the £21 million Business and Tourism Programme.
The programme was created to help attract more trade, tourism, and investment opportunities for Birmingham, and the West Midlands. and promote the region and the UK to the world.
And a change in policy would promote quarters like the Southside, Birmingham is a great idea. The Southside’s economy relies heavily on publicity and promotions to attract visitors and tourists to its entertainment, dining, and retail centres.
Commonwealth Games Spotlights Southside’s Creative Industries and Local Talent
The Commonwealth Games not only provided the opportunity for the Southside to promote its entertainment and night-time economies, but it also shed a light on Birmingham’s creative industries and local talent.
Birmingham’s creative industries (design, film, music, performing and visual arts, advertising, and marketing, to name a few) have been growing at twice the rate of the general UK economy and contribute greatly to the city’s economic growth.
Birmingham has a prominent creative and cultural sector. Its creative industries support a dynamic and growing creative economy that’s spread out throughout Greater Birmingham. It provides 9% of the total GVA and employs nearly 50,000 people.
In the Southside, this economy is focused on performance, theatre, dance, and music, and to an extent, in its widely varied and celebrated cuisine, as well as its entertainment, visual arts, design, advertising, and marketing sectors.
Together with the city centre’s business and financial services sector, digital, R&D, and tech, Southside’s creative industries are a catalyst for economic growth, improving the city’s attractiveness to inward investors and major employers from within the UK and around the world.
Major Investments and Regeneration Developments Into Southside, Birmingham Aim to Provide Employment Opportunities and Answer The Housing Demand
While the Birmingham city centre is the largest provider of financial and business services in the UK, the Southside is the entertainment quarter.
And not just playing host to major internationally renowned cultural and artistic organisations like the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, but growing its cultural haven for contemporary music, and live entertainment events, as well as housing its hugely popular night-time economy.
The hugely popular Chinese Quarter, the enigmatic Gay Village, venues like the O2 Academy, and the bars and dining attractions in Birmingham New Street and Hurst Street, are just some of the Southside District’s well-loved places for entertainment, dining, and leisure.
And with the regeneration developments being rolled into Southside, there is much anticipation from the commercial growth and revival that the area is currently undergoing—and being planned for its future.
One of these developments is the £9.5 million public square outside the Birmingham Hippodrome. The square is intended as the unofficial gateway into Southside’s myriad entertainment and leisure venues, as well as to its hugely popular quarters: the Chinese Quarter and the Gay Village.
This development is part of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) Enterprise Zone and is intended to attract visitors and tourists, as well as draw in major investments and employers from within the UK and from around the world.
Together with commercial and residential projects being developed in the Southside, property investors will be interested in discovering how this quarter not only embodies Birmingham’s cultural heart but also has all the fundamentals that will make it a property investment hotspot.
To know more about the off plan and new build property investments in Southside, Birmingham, chat with our team today, or call us on 02079236100. We can help you learn about Southside, Birmingham property investments and help you develop a plan to suit your current situation and will give you the confidence to invest with certainty in the area.