Assets & Drivers

The LEP area has a concentration of economic assets and drivers second only to London. A number of these are set out below. We aim to work with and build on these assets to enhance even further our status as one of the UK’s key economic engines.

+Birmingham Airport
The UK’s second largest regional airport at the centre of the national motorway system and rail network, linked directly to Birmingham International Station. Provides access to air travel for eight million people living within one-hour travel time and 36 million people living within a two-hour radius.
Extension of the runway at Birmingham Airport will provide essential point to point connectivity with key markets in the Asian sub-continent, South East Asia, China, the Far East and the West Coast of North America.
+Rail links to London
Direct rail access to London is available from seven mainline stations across the GBSLEP area. London is just 70 minutes away from Birmingham International Station, with journey times continuing to decrease and a 31 minute journey envisaged with High Speed 2.

The £600 million investment in New Street Gateway will see the transformation of the current main station into a world class transport hub serving 52 million passengers a year and generating in excess of £2 billion of wider economic benefits. The new station will help transform parts of Birmingham City Centre, and create tens of thousands of jobs across the area.

+Research and teaching

  • Aston University
  • University of Birmingham
  • Birmingham City University
  • Newman University College
  • University College Birmingham
  • Warwick University (part)
  • Staffordshire (part)

+Conferences, Exhibitions and Entertainment
The NEC is one of the busiest exhibition centres in Europe, with 20 halls totalling 204,000 square metres of exhibition space (including The LG Arena) on a 650-acre site. The NEC Group stages 900 business and entertainment events each year attracting over four million visitors. It creates an economic impact of £2.2 billion and 29,000 jobs.

  • National Exhibition Centre (NEC)
  • LG Arena
  • International Convention Centre
  • National Indoor Arena

+Culture and tourism
The GBSLEP area boasts the strongest cultural offer in England outside of London:

  • Barber Institute of Fine Arts
  • Birmingham Repertory Theatre
  • Birmingham Royal Ballet
  • Birmingham Hippodrome
  • Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (part owners of the Staffordshire Hoard)
  • Birmingham Science Museum at Millennium Point
  • Cannock Chase Area of Natural Beauty (AONB)
  • City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
  • Drayton Manor Park and Zoo
  • Ikon Gallery
  • LG Arena
  • Library of Birmingham (due to open 2013)
  • Lichfield Cathedral
  • National Brewing Centre
  • National Forest
  • National Memorial Arboretum (including the National Armed Forces Memorial)
  • Severn Valley Railway
  • Symphony Hall
  • Tamworth Castle
  • Uttoxeter Racecourse
  • West Midlands Safari Park
  • Wyre Forest


  • Football Association’s National Football Centre
  • Alexander Athletics Stadium
  • Edgbaston Cricket Ground
  • The Priory (tennis)
  • The Belfry (golf)
  • Villa Park (football)

  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham
  • Defence Medical Education and Training Agency (under development)

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