Why is Birmingham so unloved?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Samuel88, 11 May 2019.

  1. Samuel88

    Samuel88 On Moderation

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    It's the UK's second largest city and yet Birmingham always seems to be forgotten in favour of Manchester.
    Take the BBC for example, the logical thing to do would be to relocate to the West Midlands, but instead they chose Salford.
    I wonder if Birmingham needs to 'sell' itself better?
     
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  3. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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    I massively prefer Birmingham to Manchester. Dryer and more civilised (such as less professional beggars).

    Birmingham did have "Pebble Mill" back in the day!
     
  4. NoMorePacers

    NoMorePacers Member

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    Companies like the BBC choose Manchester because it makes them look like they care about the North, but the actual poor places in the North get about as much coverage as ever (nothing basically).
     
  5. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Is it unloved? It gets plenty of business and investment from being close to London. Just because it didn't get the Beeb?

    In railway terms it is getting the "S-Bahn" Manchester deserves with a near-full fleet replacement, too.

    FWIW I quite like it these days, the city centre has had lots of investment, and HS2 will bring a lot more. Doubt I'd want to live in the city but there are certainly parts of the West Midlands I would consider.
     
  6. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    I stayed in Birmingham the other week and there is loads of building works going on. And don't forget it will be served by HS2. Look at how New St Station has been re-developed. I'd hardly say that makes it "unloved".
     
  7. Typhoon

    Typhoon Member

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    I spent my entire working life in Birmingham, and thought it great. OK, there are a few toe-rags but other than that there are so many plus points. Especially in the south, if you go anywhere high, you can see how green the city is, there's the canal network, Jewellery Quarter, culture (Symphony Hall, Royal Ballet, MAC, BMAG), Balti Triangle, connectivity, industrial heritage.
     
  8. Master29

    Master29 Established Member

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    The accent;):D
     
  9. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    It definitely seems to be on the up compared to twenty years ago.
    I quite like it, and I’ve always found the people pretty easy going.
    I’ll also always be full of gratitude to the people of Birmingham for the amazing rock music that came from the area.
     
  10. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    Like most cities, Birmingham & Manchester both have good parts and bad parts Neither have enough green areas close to the city centres. Both have good parkland areas in the outer suburbs. And Manchester, in particular is being increasingly ruined by lots of ugly skyscapers around the city centre. Personally, I think the BBC would have been better if it had relocated to a smaller town (or two) rather than any of the big cities.
     
  11. 433N

    433N Member

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    Lived there for 10 years in the mid 80s-early 90s ... before gentrification ... loved it.

    Visited a few years ago ... still great.

    Got lost going between New St and Moor St, last year. Changed beyond my recognition from my time there.

    I think if you get to know it, you love it but on the surface there appears little to attract you there in the first place. I'll keep going and, if no one else does, that'd be fine with me. Keep meaning to do a visit to the Birmingham Back-to-Backs.
     
  12. duncanp

    duncanp Member

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    I moved to Birmingham (from London) six months ago, and it doesn't feel "unloved" to me.

    There is a lot of building work going on at the moment, two extensions to the tram line are currently being constructed, and more are planned.

    The redevelopment of New Street station, although it can be confusing to the first time visitor (ie. if you go in the blue or yellow lounges you can't access all the platforms) was partly paid for by the developers of the shopping centre. They wouldn't have done this if they didn't think there was potential. Add to this the new Primark (the biggest in the world) and again Primark wouldn't have chosen Birmingham if they didn't think there was sufficient footfall.

    The Christmas market in Victoria Square is one of the best in the UK, compared to some of the tatty imitation markets you get elsewhere, and actually attracts traders over from Germany for the season.

    Restaurants, bars, shops, the NHS and all the facilities you need are as good as in London, Manchester or anywhere else.

    The Commonwealth Games in 2022 will attract more visitors and investment to the city, and can only be a good thing in the long run.

    Gripes?

    • They should rename the tram stop from Grand Central to New Street Station, as it is right by the station and it is where a lot of people want to go.
    • There should be improved connectivity between the trams and trains at Snow Hill station. It seems ridiculous that the tram stop St Chads is adjacent to the platforms at Snow Hill, and yet to access Snow Hill station you have to continue on to the next stop Bull Street and walk back.
    These are minor issues though, and could be replicated elsewhere.
     
  13. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Hmm.

    I lived there for over a decade, mostly in the 90s. I saw the transformation of Broad St / Brindley Place, the Chinese quarter, and a complete change in road traffic management (removing several grotty subways, plus pedestrianisation of New St / High St.) I left before the new Bull Ring was opened. For one reason and another I rarely went back until recently, but have spent a fair bit of time there in the last 18 months.


    My impression is that not much has changed. Of course there’s lots of new restaurants / bars / shops, and new residential tower blocks, but that’s the same as every big city in the U.K. The biggest differences are New St station (which is so much better than it was), the Bull Ring, and the forthcoming changes around Paradise circus.

    Most importantly, you can still get a decent pint in The Welly, a quality curry in Manzil’s and a post sesh feed in Mr Egg.
     
  14. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    The platforms are still a bit manky, but I would still credit it with the kind of transformation that Terminals 2 and 5 have to Heathrow, turning them from transport nodes to avoid at all costs to ones it's actually worth actively choosing to use.
     
  15. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Agreed. Before rebuilding, if I had half an hour between trains it would be out of the station to the (late lamented) Newt & Cucumber for a pint. Now I’d happily sit in a cafe or bar on the concourse. And with Open Train Times you can be sure when your train is on approach andvget to the platform just as it arrives.
     
  16. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    The second city claim depends how you define the city. In terms of strict municipality size, Birmingham is way ahead of Manchester. Manchester is also behind Bradford, Leeds, Sheffield and Glasgow under this measure. On this basis it can be argued that Birmingham is the biggest city in the UK if you decide that London is represented by the City of London and City of Westminster. Municipality boundaries often don't include suburbs that most people would include. For example Old Trafford is outside Manchester and the Nottingham Forest ground and Trent Bridge are outside Nottingham.

    Because city boundaries are arbitrarily drawn, most academics prefer to use the built up area. The Office of National Statistics has defined the built up areas and on that basis, Manchester is slightly ahead of Birmingham

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_urban_areas_in_the_United_Kingdom

    Probably the most important consideration is to look at how many people live near Manchester and Birmingham, say within a 30 mile radius. On that measure, Manchester is way ahead of Birmingham.
     
    Last edited: 14 May 2019
  17. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    I believe there is a new entrance to Snow Hill being built which will give better access to St Chads
     
  18. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    But that is wrong, for example Bracknell isn't part of London, and neither is St Albans
     
  19. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    They aren't administered as part of Greater London but it is possible to travel between Bracknell, St Albans and the rest of the built up area without entering a significant amount of countryside. Statistically, there is nothing to debate as you can't argue with physical buildings on the ground.

    You can see the thin joins that connect St Albans and Bracknell on this map

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_London_Built-up_Area
     
  20. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    Bracknell is quite a way from the Greater London Boundary (17 miles), and you'd have to travel through Windsor Great Park to get there.
     
  21. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    You don't HAVE to go through Windsor Great Park. You can also go via Ascot, Sunningdale, Virginia Water, Staines and Ashford. The ONS have looked at maps so we don't have to.

    Built up areas do not have to be related to local government boundaries. For example, New Addington is excluded from the Greater London Built Up Area because there is countryside between there and the rest of Croydon.
     
  22. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    I’ve never seen that map before. It would be interesting what the definition of ‘built up’ is. There is definitely countryside between St Albans and Watford, whichever way you try to go. Admittedly it’s a fairly narrow strip in places, but it is still open fields or woodland.
     
  23. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_urban_areas_in_the_United_Kingdom

    shows the definition.

    Any gaps must be less than 200 metres.
     
  24. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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  25. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    And about 30 years.
     
  26. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    I really like what I have seen of Birmingham which I am ashamed to say is not a lot. Mostly changing trains and coaches or going to see Liverpool play there. Also one trip to the motor show at the NEC.

    Everyone I have met on my footy trips has been lovely. I love the band Napalm Death (Alright, half of them are American). I also like Godflesh and Bolt Thrower who I think are part Brummie.

    Not got any mates from Brum which is a shame, probably why I don't know it well. Got a good mate from Wolverhampton though.

    My travel patterns are quite weird though. I've been to Bolivia but not Brighton and I've spent longer in Poland than I have in Scotland.
     
  27. Aictos

    Aictos On Moderation

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    Don’t forget next year you hopefully have the completion of these buildings going up by Centenary Square, the tram line extensions will be well under way and in 2022 you have the commonwealth games being held there which will bring much economic benefits to the West Midlands.

    I lived there for the best part of a year and didn’t mind it, only thing I hated was the traffic congestion in the peaks in the city centre with what was on average 20 mins on the bus taking double that easily with majority of bus times taking a hour!

    I hope they can sort that out by 2022!
     
  28. xc170

    xc170 Member

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    The problem with Birmingham is, constant building work, every time I go into Birmingham, I think, it'll look really nice once it's finished, but that's the problem, it's never finished.

    The whole city center always has and always will be one giant building site.
     
  29. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Cities evolve and grow, they are never "finished".
     
  30. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Birmingham has not had the same reputation for crime as Manchester.
     
  31. Samuel88

    Samuel88 On Moderation

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    I'm guessing you've never been to Alum Rock!
     

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