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Birmingham's 400K SF Tech Workspace Dividend


Birmingham’s tech reputation is on the rise and it is going to mean a surge in demand for workspace.

According to CBRE, the city has leapfrogged Edinburgh to claim third place in a list of the UK’s leading tech cities

The ranking draws attention to a surge in tech employment. CBRE’s Tech Cities report forecasts that employment in information and communication will grow by 7.65% between 2021 and 2025, the strongest regional growth in the UK. 

According to 2021 research by Comptia UK the total tech workforce in Birmingham was 47,000, suggesting the figure could grow by 3,600. Back-of-envelope calculations suggest this could equate to around 400K SF of new tech floorspace.

“In line with the forecasted growth in employment, we expect take-up of office space in Birmingham by the tech sector, be it directly by tech companies or indirectly via tech-based jobs in other sectors such as business, professional and financial services, to increase over the next three to four years,” CBRE Birmingham Head of Office Agency Theo Holmes said.

“The challenge for landlords and developers, in addition to the current constrained supply of office accommodation, is creating space that tech companies and their employees want to work in, be it flexible and coworking offices to incubation hubs. 

The data set ranks the UK’s top cities outside London based on a range of factors including access to skilled talent, availability of office space, proximity to institutions providing high-quality tech courses, cost of living and employment costs. 

The report also highlights that millennials and Gen Zers will be critical to filling the roles created by the tech sector. For employers, Birmingham has a clear advantage over its regional rivals, with a population of more than a million millennials and Gen Zers — the highest of all the top 15 cities included in the Tech Cities report.

Access to a highly skilled female population is also an increasingly important factor to consider for tech companies. Again, Birmingham performs well when compared to other regional cities, with the highest number of degree level educated women, sitting 19% above the number of degree level educated men in the city. However, it is the lowest of all cities when looking at the total female population with a degree.

“Tech companies are now more than ever competing for the best talent and post-pandemic have broadened their horizons in hiring a more distributed workforce and will drive a new era of regional tech demand," CBRE Head of Tech Sector Mike Gedye said. "The regionalisation of the tech sector beyond London and the South East will also be critical to sustain the UK’s ability to innovate and compete on the global stage.”