Birmingham – Characterised By Tradition Of Innovation

Amazing Europe | | December 13, 2011 at 12:05 am


Birmingham is a metropolitan borough and a city in West Midlands of England. It is the most crowded British City outside capital London with inhabitants of 1,036,900 and lies at the heart of West Midlands conurbation, the 2nd most crowded urban region in United Kingdom with inhabitants of 2,284,093. The metropolitan area of Birmingham is the UK’s 2nd most crowded with population of 3,683,000. Much of Birmingham was destroyed during World War II and replacements apartments added little to the city. Nevertheless, since 1990s, the city has been experiencing radical change and most of the post war apartments have been replaced. Some of the notable associations of Birmingham include Tony Hancock, HP Sauce, The Lunar Society its members included Matthew Boulton and James Watt, Cadbury’s chocolate, UB40, Black Sabbath, Spitfire and Mini and Jasper Carrot.

Birmingham has plenty of literary associations, these include not only Washington Irving, but also JRR Tolkien, who wrote Rip Van Winkle while lodging in this city with his sister’s family, and Conan Doyle, who bought violin in Sherlock Street while medical student in Birmingham. The authors Judith Cutler, David Lodge and Jim Crace are also residents. Some of the nearby locations of Birmingham include Stratford-Upon-Avon, Shropshire and Warwick offer most of the stereotypical photos of olde England. The unique profile of Birmingham with plenty of small workshops practising a broad variety of highly skilled and specialized trades and encouraged outstanding levels of innovations and creativity offered a resilient and diverse economic base for industrial prosperity.


At present, Birmingham is one of the most significant global commercial centres ranked as beta-world metropolitan of Globalization and World Cities Research Network and a significant conference, transport, events and retail hub. With GDP of more than $90 billion, its economy of city agglomeration is the 2nd biggest in United Kingdom and 72nd biggest outside London. Its most important cultural institutions including Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Cit of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Birmingham Royal Ballet enjoy global reputations. The early history of Birmingham is that of marginal and remote area. The primary centres of wealth, population and power in pre-industrial English Midlands lay in accessible and fertile valleys of Trent, Avon and Severn.

Birmingham International Airport is the most important airport located outside Birmingham in Solihull around eight miles east of Central Birmingham serving the rest of West Midlands and city region with far-flung and domestic places including Toronto, Delhi, New York, Dubai, Luxor and Islamabad. The Air-Rail Link connects airport Passenger Terminals with Birmingham International Rail Station between 05:15 and 02:00. It is one of the major hubs of rail network of Britain. The main station is New Street with Moor Street and Snow Hill carrying drastically fewer services but embrace better service from London Marylebone station. All Britain areas are well served with half-hourly services from Sheffield, Bristol, Oxford, Cardiff, Manchester, Edinburgh, London, Glasgow and stations in between.

Art Galleries and Museums

For a place with strong industrial heritage, Birmingham doesn’t have large range of historical sights you might expect, but is offset by arts being highly well represented. It includes Aston Hall, Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Cadbury World, IKON Gallery, Sarehole Mill, Soho House, Thinktank and Museum of Jewellery Quarter.

Aston Hall Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

Nature and Parks

There are green spaces and green parks all over Birmingham and its suburbs and the countryside is just around 30 minutes away in all directions. The nature reserves and country parks typically comprise wealth of information, including conservation efforts, local flora and fauna. It includes Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Glasshouses, Birmingham Nature Centre, Cannon Hill Park, Lickey Hills Country Park, National Sea Life Centre, RSPB Sandwell Valley, Sutton Park and Woodgate Valley Country Park. Birmingham City Council is one of the biggest local authorities in United Kingdom and the biggest council in the entire Europe with over 120 councillors representing 40 wards.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Glasshouses Birmingham Nature Centre

With Birmingham GDP of $90 billion, the city agglomeration approximately Birmingham has 2nd biggest economy in UK and 72nd biggest outside London. Albeit, Birmingham grew to prominence as engineering and manufacturing centre. It is the largest centre for employment in public education, health and administration in Great Britain, while after Glasgow and Leeds it is 3rd biggest centre for employment in finance, insurance and banking outside London. Birmingham ranked as beta-world city by Globalization and World Cities Research Network.

Tourism is more and more important part of the local economy. With most important facilities like National Exhibition Centre and International Convention Centre, its area accounts for 42 percent of United Kingdom exhibition and conference trade. Its cultural and sporting venues draw plenty of visitors and have created plenty of famous musicians and bands such as The Spencer Davis Group, Ocean Colour Scene, The Twang and The Streets. Musicians Ozzy Osbourne, Jeff Lynne, John Lodge, Tony Iommi, Joan Armatrading, Roy Wood, Denny Laine, Toyah Willcox, Steve Winwood, Sukshinder Shinda, Fyfe Dangerfield and Jamelia all grew up in Birmingham.

The leading producing theatre of Birmingham is Birmingham Repertory Theatre, which was established in the year 1913 by Barry Jackson for serving art. The Rep pioneered innovations including performance of Shakespeare in contemporary dress launched careers of performers like Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, Albert Finney, Peggy Ashcroft and Paul Scofield. Other theatre companies are politically radical Banner Theatre, experimental Stan’s Cafe, Maverick Theatre Company and Birmingham Stage Company. The Birmingham Hippodrome and Alexandra Theatre host extensive touring productions, while specialized drama is carried out on extensive range of stages across Birmingham such as Crescent Theatre, Old Rep, Old Joint Stock Theatre, Custard Factory, The Drum in Aston, mac in Cannon Hill Park and Blue Orange Theatre.

Birmingham Repertory Theatre Old Joint Stock Theatre

Things to do in Birmingham: Thinktank Planetarium, Birmingham Back to Backs, Baddesley Clinton, Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Symphony Hall, Aston Hall, Birmingham Hippodrome, Winterbourne House and Garden, The Pen Room, National Motorcycle Museum, Electric Cinema, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Cannon Hill Park, Shakespeare Express, National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Thinktank Science Museum, Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Teamworks Karting, Grand Prix Karting, New Hall Valley Country Park, Coughton Court, Lickey Hills Country Park, Chamberlain Square and more. The Five Points South area just south of downtown is a vibrant neighbourhood, which blocks teeming with upscale boutiques, apartments and restaurants and encompasses University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Symphony Hall

Lickey Hills Country Park

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