National tourism agency VisitBritain/VisitEngland has today (Wednesday 19th July) announced that it has selected Birmingham as the location for its new headquarters from April 2024.
The body – which raises Britain’s profile worldwide to develop the country’s visitor economy – picked Birmingham thanks to its strong international and UK transport links and availability of local talent.
VisitBritain/VisitEngland also cited its successful working relationship with the Birmingham, Solihull and Black Country LVEP (Local Visitor Economy Partnership). As part of the groundbreaking, global Business and Tourism Programme (BATP), the region helped to deliver the UK’s most popular Commonwealth Games in 2022.
The West Midlands Growth Company, the region’s investment promotion and destination management agency, supported VisitBritain/VisitEngland throughout the competitive national process. It will continue to assist the tourism body during the coming months by securing the right long-term office space, sourcing local talent and helping it to forge ever-closer links with West Midlands partners and educational institutions.
Neil Rami, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Growth Company, said:
“The West Midlands Growth Company led a decisive bid that showcased the West Midlands’ irrefutable strengths as a growing and successful headquarter economy.
“VisitBritain/VisitEngland’s decision to establish its new office in Birmingham is testament to the well-evidenced talent pool, transport connectivity and business support infrastructure we have in place to enable important and far-reaching organisations to thrive.
“The move also underscores the significance of the West Midlands’ vital contribution to the visitor economy and our ability to meaningfully shape policy in this space. We look forward to our continued, productive partnership with VisitBritain/VisitEngland and making its Birmingham headquarters a roaring success.”
VisitBritain/VisitEngland will follow in the footsteps of other government departments and bodies, which have successfully relocated to the West Midlands in recent years. These include HM Revenue & Customs to Birmingham; Homes England to Coventry; and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to Wolverhampton.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said:
“With record tourist numbers, world class museums, excellent connectivity to the whole country and, of course, following on from the spectacular 2022 Commonwealth Games, Birmingham is the perfect place for VisitBritain.
“It is great to see yet another leading organisation place confidence in us and choose to call the West Midlands home.”
Patricia Yates, CEO, VisitBritain/VisitEngland, said:
“Following many months of careful consideration, we are delighted to announce that VisitBritain/VisitEngland will be opening a new hub office in Birmingham from April 2024. Birmingham has excellent transport links for both our international and Britain based staff and key stakeholders, a broad talent pool and good office space.
“Basing our hub office in Birmingham also brings us closer to our regional stakeholders across England including the West Midlands Growth Company, a Local Visitor Economy Partnership, with whom we already have a strong working relationship.
“We have seen other government departments and private sector companies successfully transition their operations to the city. We are excited about the opportunities and perspectives that having our headquarters in Birmingham will bring, as we continue our work to drive the economic benefits from tourism across the nations and regions and to support the industry.
“We are currently in negotiations on office space in central Birmingham and will announce the site once confirmed. We will keep an office presence in London to maintain our relationships with key government and industry stakeholders.”
Located at the heart of England, Birmingham and the West Midlands has unrivalled connectivity, strong leisure assets, internationally known brands and a particular strength in business events. Home to Peaky Blinders, Birmingham Royal Ballet and 11 Michelin-starred restaurants, the region welcomed an unprecedented 141.2 million visitors in 2022, with visitor spend rising to a record £14.1 billion.
Cllr John Cotton, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:
“Today's fantastic news further underlines Birmingham's growing stature as a world class tourist destination. This is a warm, friendly city region with award-winning museums and galleries, world class cultural institutions and festivals, major sporting events, family friendly attractions, amazing parks and scenic waterways. We look forward to welcoming VisitBritain/VisitEngland to Birmingham.”
For more information about the West Midlands’ visitor offer, log on to visitbirmingham.com. To learn more about the opportunities available for businesses and investors in the West Midlands, visit investwestmidlands.com.