We knew Birmingham was on the cusp of big change when we finally got a decent train station.
Yes, when Grand Central in 2015 transformed our embarrassing old New Street station into somewhere visitors wouldn’t mind spending more than ten minutes, we knew things were getting better.
And they certainly have. Since then, we’ve welcomed the new Midland Metro tram extension – the tramline from Wolverhampton to Birmingham now extends to Centenary Square.
The second phase, which will see tram services extend to the new terminus at 54 Hagley Road via Brindleyplace and Five Ways, is due to be finished by 2021.
Other projects that have been taking place around the city over the last few years include the £10 million revamp of Birmingham’s largest public space, Centenary Square.
In 2017 we welcomed the £30 million redevelopment of 55 Colmore Row – one of the city’s most historic office buildings. Its Grade II listed Victorian terrace facade houses over 160,000 sq ft of grade A office as well as high profile eateries Fazenda and Gaucho.
Our renowned restaurant scene is better than ever – but let’s not forget Brum is leading the way digitally too – in the country’s 5G network and ultrafast broadband rollout.
The West Midlands is the UK’s first large-scale 5G ‘test bed’ – paving the way for the roll-out of the high-speed network across the country.
And with HS2 due for completion in 2031 – making London only 49 minutes away – Brum is catching a lot of investors’ eyes.
Neil Rami, chief executive of West Midlands Growth Company, told BirminghamLive: “Birmingham has clearly demonstrated its importance to the UK’s economy by continually delivering strong results in visitor and business attraction.
“The city and wider region’s strong performance in attracting foreign investment and securing record levels of development is testament to its economic resilience and growing reputation as an investment hotspot.”
More long-term spectacular plans include the £110m transformation of Birmingham’s landmark House of Fraser building.
The scheme which was approved in December, will see most of the upper floors of the department store converted into office space with space available on the first floor and basement – for bars and restaurants.
Council bosses are also considering plans for a swanky rooftop terrace for the building.
Meanwhile workman are currently busy building the 26-storey 103 Colmore Row tower.
Once completed, it will become the tallest commercial building in Birmingham and tallest new office building outside London.
We will finally have the city skyline to match the most impressive international cities.
Make no mistake, the landscape of Birmingham will continue to evolve before our eyes.