The Lord Mayor of London, William Russell, has visited Birmingham to boost business ties between the West Midlands and the Square Mile.
Birmingham is a key city in the City Corporation’s UK strategy, which is helping to increase inward investment and build awareness of how London can act as a global gateway for local firms to export their products and services.
As an ambassador for the UK’s financial and professional services industry, the Lord Mayor met Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, the West Midlands Growth Company, as well as budding entrepreneurs and businesses that are at the heart of the city’s success, and Ian Reid, the 2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee CEO.
The meetings were used to foster a closer relationship in financial and professional services. Birmingham has a burgeoning financial and professional services sector, with over 4,300 companies, which alone employ over 50,000 people, making it the largest regional cluster outside of London.
The visit was also used to champion creativity and culture as part of the Lord Mayor’s ‘Global UK’ agenda which promotes growing global trade and investment, championing innovation, and promoting a rich and vibrant cultural and creative economy.
Mr Russell said: “Birmingham has a proud industrial heritage which is evolving with a new wave of investment and innovation. A testament to its success has been big names like HSBC moving operations to the city recently.
“But there is still untapped potential in the area and lots of work to be done on important issues like regional investment. Supporting prosperity right across the country will play a critical role in fuelling our economic success after we leave the European Union.
“That’s why we are here. It’s why Birmingham is a key city in our UK strategy and why we are always looking to connect local businesses with international businesses – using London’s strengths as a global gateway to the benefit of the wider UK.
Neil Rami, chief executive of the West Midlands Growth Company, added: “We’re very pleased to be welcoming the Lord Mayor of the City of London to the West Midlands today. London represents both a key source of domestic direct investment and a key partner city with the mutual aim of raising the UK’s profile overseas.
“This visit also provides an invaluable opportunity to showcase our region’s financial and professional services sector – which remains the UK’s largest outside of the capital – as a thriving industry with a growing number of investment opportunities.”