Birmingham ranked best UK regional city for quality of life

Birmingham retains lead for fourth year running.

Birmingham has been ranked as having the highest quality of life of any UK city outside of the capital by the global Mercer Quality of Living Report 2015.

Birmingham placed at jointly with Rome in 52nd out of 230 rankings. Birmingham’s nearest UK rivals included Glasgow (55th), Aberdeen (57th), and Belfast (63rd). The city placed ahead of international hotspots such as Hong Kong, Miami and Dubai.

Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Birmingham’s ranking as the best place to live in the UK outside of London is confirmation of what its growing numbers of residents have known for some time. The city’s exceptional offer benefits its residents, visitors and workers alike and make it a vibrant, attractive city unlike any other in the UK.

“With everything from shopping to culture, international sporting events to Michelin-starred restaurants on our doorstep, it’s little wonder that this report has confirmed Birmingham’s position as an outstanding place to live.

“This will be an exceptional year for Birmingham, with the city hosting both the Rugby World Cup and the Ashes, as well as the arrival of the Grand Central development with its flagship John Lewis store and city cultural celebrations. With all this to offer, we hope Birmingham will hold onto its UK leading ranking for some time.”

The ranking announcement follows figures showing that Birmingham’s festive offering attracted record footfall and consumer spend in 2014 – with 5.5 million visitors spending an all -time high of £397 million across the city. Birmingham is building on its reputation as a tourism destination as it prepares to welcome even more visitors across 2015, with the city hosting international sporting events, launching new retail offerings and key attractions celebrating significant anniversaries.

The ranking has also recently been reflected in ONS figures, which revealed that the city was the leading choice for young professionals leaving the capital. More than 5,450 thirtysomethings flocked to Birmingham in 2013.

Neil Rami, chief executive of Marketing Birmingham – which operates the city’s inward investment programme, Business Birmingham – said: “Recent Government statistics suggest that there are more people choosing to move to Birmingham than ever before.

“People are increasingly seeing our region as an obvious choice to build a career and raise a family. It offers all the cultural attractions of the capital but also provides excellent schools, affordable homes and amenities.”

Birmingham’s quality of living is central to the city’s appeal, and will be showcased at MIPIM – an international real estate event attended by major cities – to attract the interest of global investors later this month.

Neil Edginton, director at The Cube – which is taking part in Greater Birmingham’s MIPIM delegation – added: “It’s no surprise that Birmingham has ranked so highly by Mercer – it has an unparalleled offer for residents and investors alike. It is a vibrant, young city with a great restaurant and social scene, cultural spaces and outstanding shopping.

“Birmingham’s lifestyle is helping to attract more people and businesses from the UK and overseas – boosting demand for new developments and regeneration projects in the city, and providing new opportunities for potential investors from across the globe.”