Blogs > A snapshot of UK Cities

A snapshot into.. Birmingham

  • November 23, 2020

Most people think of Birmingham as a city of industry but today, the UK’s second largest city has been transformed into a place of culture, green space, and is welcoming to thousands of businesses both from the UK and internationally.

Birmingham’s population is over 1.1 million, 3.8 million in the Greater Metropolitan area, and is the most ethnically diverse city in the entire UK. The official language is English but there are over 108 languages spoken in the city. Widely spoken languages include Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali and many others. Also, the city has a youthful population as 45.7% of Birmingham’s population is under the age of thirty.

The University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) is one of the largest teaching hospital trusts in England, serving a regional, national and international population. It includes Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Solihull Hospital and Community Services, Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield and Birmingham Chest Clinic. They also run a number of smaller satellite units, allowing people to be treated as close to home as possible.

The Trust see and treat more than 2.2 million people every year across their sites and our hospitals deliver more babies than anywhere else in Europe. They are a regional centre for cancer, trauma, renal dialysis, burns and plastics, HIV and AIDS, as well as respiratory conditions like cystic fibrosis. The Trust also have expertise in premature baby care, bone marrow transplants and thoracic surgery and have the largest solid organ transplantation programme in Europe.

They provide a series of highly specialist cardiac, liver and neurosurgery services to patients from across the UK.

They are also world-renowned for our trauma care and have developed pioneering surgical techniques in the management of ballistic and blast injuries, including bespoke surgical solutions for previously unseen injuries. As a result of its clinical expertise in treating trauma patients and military casualties, the QEHB has been designated both a Level 1 Trauma Centre and host of the UK’s only £20m National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre.

Facts about Birmingham

  • Birmingham has more canals than Venice with 56km of waterways
  • It is known as one of the UK’s greenest cities with over 8,000 acres and 600 parks and open spaces. According to the city council, that’s more than Paris
  • The city is the third most popular place to shop in the whole of the UK
  • Birmingham is part of the Délice Network – a global network of “Good Food Cities”
  • The city has five Michelin-starred restaurants, more than any other UK city outside of London
  • There are over 100 Balti houses in the city and its famous “Balti Triangle” attracts over 20,000 visitors a week

Where should I live?

Compared to other major UK and global cities, flat and house prices in Birmingham are considered reasonable. The price will vary area to area but the figures below will give you an indication of what is available in different areas.


Mosely is a leafy suburb, located just two miles south of the city-centre and was recently voted the best place to live in Britain by The Sunday Times. This area is a popular choice for families and young professionals as the area is full of eateries, vintage shops, and green space. Moseley holds a famous farmers market on the last Saturday of every month which attracts residents from all over the city. Furthermore, in the heart of the suburb is the beautiful Moseley park, a member’s only park – but inside the area, you will find 11 acres of green space and a tranquil lake. The park also holds annual music events such as jazz, funk and soul festivals.

Rented properties in Moseley range from £325 per month for a studio property to £700 for a two-bedroom terraced house. The area offers a wide range of properties from modern apartments to large Victoria detached homes.

City Centre

The city-centre is bustling with diversity, artistry, and creativity. This is often a popular area for young professionals to reside as the centre offers endless places to shop with the popular shopping centre the Bullring in addition to the sophisticated bars and restaurants available.

Rented properties in the city centre range from £595 per month for a one-bedroom studio apartment to £875 per month for a two bedroom flat. With a range of properties on offer in the vibrant city centre you have a choice of townhouses and converted factories in the Jewellery Quarter to penthouse apartments close to Brindley Place and Broad Street.

Sutton Coldfield

Sutton Coldfield is a historic town granted royal status by King Henry VIII in the 16th Century and was reaffirmed by Parliament in 2014. The area’s affluence can still be demonstrated by Sutton Coldfield’s architecture. The area’s most popular landmark is the 3,400-acre Sutton Park, which welcomes two million visitors each year as the park offers playgrounds, restaurants, seven lakes and a donkey sanctuary.

The town centre offers both high street and independent shops, a vibrant restaurant community, and the cultural hub of town ranges from the Highbury Theatre to the impressive art deco Empire Cinema. Furthermore, Sutton Coldfield’s Good Hope Hospital delivers accident and emergency services to a catchment population of around 450,000 people across North Birmingham and South-East Staffordshire.

Average Monthly Living Expenses



Monthly rent for 900Sqft furnished accommodation in an expensive area


Monthly rent for 900Sqft furnished accommodation in a normal area


Utilities for two people




Basic dinner out for two in a neighbourhood pub


2 tickets to the theatre


Dinner for two at an Italian restaurant including starters, mains, desserts, and wine


Cup of coffee


Pint of Beer


1 month of gym membership



Birmingham’s location is at the heart of the country which means that the city is a natural transport hub for the whole of the UK. There are eight local railway lines with services running up to every ten-minutes, mainline train services, and the motorway network link Birmingham to every major UK city while Birmingham Airport provides access to the rest of Europe and the world.


New Street Station – The newly redeveloped New Street Station alone has the capacity for 52 million passengers a year and is the busiest interchange station in the UK with a train leaving the station every 37 seconds. 1,250 trains travel through the platforms each day with regular services to London Euston, Manchester, Liverpool, the North West and Scotland.

High Speed 2 – The proposed HS2 is a railway that will link Birmingham to London, the East Midlands, Leeds, Sheffield, and Manchester – significantly reducing the travel time between each location. At present, the average journey time from Birmingham New Street to London is 1 hour 24 minutes which will reduce to 49 minutes on HS2 – taking off 40% from the journey time. It is expected that the arrival of HS2 will act as a catalyst generating an additional £4 billion in economic output across the West Midlands bringing an additional 50,000 jobs.

Fastest Direct Trains

  • London Euston – 1 hour 24 minutes
  • London Marylebone – 1 hour 43 minutes
  • Manchester Piccadilly – 1 hour 26 minutes
  • Liverpool Lime Street – 1 hour 34 minutes
  • Edinburgh – 5 hours 6 minutes
  • Leeds – 1 hour 58 minutes
  • Bristol Temple Meads – 1 hour 24 minutes


Birmingham Airport is the third largest airport outside of London and over 10 million people a year use its services. The airport has recently benefited from a £200m improvement programme which included a runway extension. The airport flies to over 140 destinations worldwide, including, Dubai, Paris, New York, and Delhi.


Once in the city travelling by bus is the most popular form of public transport across the city and the entire West Midlands with more than a million journeys every day. The city is well served by an extensive network of coach services which make use of the motorway network for quick, reliable and affordable access to regional and national destinations.

Education in Birmingham

The majority of children who reside in Birmingham are educated in state schools. Most of Birmingham’s primary schools are maintained schools under the control of the local education authority. However, 48 of Birmingham’s secondary state schools are now academies. In addition, there are many voluntary aided schools, primarily religious schools including Islamic, Jewish and Roman Catholic schools.

Things to do in Birmingham

Cadbury World

Cadbury’s World has gone to be one of Birmingham’s largest leisure attractions and welcomes over 500,000 visitors each year whilst delivering a respected education programme. Cadbury’s World currently features 14 zones which tell the story of chocolate and the Cadbury business through video presentations, multi-sensory cinema, interactive displays and activities and staff demonstrations.

On average, people send around 3-4 hours visiting Cadbury’s World and the last admission is always an hour and a half before closing time. Please note that opening times vary depending on the time of year – so always check in advance, and our advice is to pre-book your tickets.

The Bull Ring

The Bull Ring is a major commercial area of Central Birmingham. It has been an important feature of Birmingham since the Middle Ages, when its first market was held. The Bullring has over 160 desirable shops to explore and since opening in 2003 the Bullring has helped to transform shopping in Birmingham – making it one of the most popular destinations for retail therapy in the UK. It houses one of only four Selfridges department stores and as the fourth largest Debenhams and Forever 21.

Arts and Culture

Birmingham has invested heavily in its arts and culture for many decades – more than £3 billion over the last 25 years and now more than £80 million annually. The artistic culture of Birmingham offers the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Birmingham Royal Ballet. Impressive venues include the Hippodrome Theatre and the Drum, one of the UK’s biggest African, Asian and Caribbean art centres.

Birmingham’s cultural diversity is reflected in the arts: the centre of the Asian music industry, the UK’s centre for Garage Music and the base of the UK’s first South Asian Music Performance and Dance company. The city celebrates its artistic culture with annual festivals of jazz, comedy, poetry, film, literature, and television.

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

The museum is a vibrant museum in the heart of the city with over 40 galleries displaying world-class collections of art, social history, archaeology, and ethnography.

The museum offers centuries of European history and culture and is home to art collections of international importance, there is also a celebration of local and industrial history in the ever-changing exhibitions.

The museum is open 10am to 5pm every day.

Canal Boat Trip

As previously mentioned, Birmingham has more canals than Venice and the canal boat trips depart multiple times every day from the International Convention Centre quayside in the heart of Birmingham. This is a great way to explore the city’s industrial heritage as the trip will guide you along quiet stretches of the canal, which started the first industrial revolution over 200 years ago.

Please note that Birmingham is located right in the centre of the UK and a popular place to reside to the job market is very saturated. Therefore, when you are choosing your location to move to in the UK it is important to consider surrounding areas. There are excellent hospital’s in the following areas which surround the city of Birmingham: Dudley, Warwick, Royal Leamington Spa, Coventry, Wolverhampton and Leicester.

If you are an IMG who is interested in relocating to Birmingham or any other UK destination then send your CV to [email protected] – and one of our Specialist Advisers will be happy to help.


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