Optimism for West Midlands from new head of national law firm’s Birmingham office
The West Midlands has the resilience to weather the economic turbulence that the UK expects this year, according to the new head of a national law firm’s Birmingham office.
Rebecca Pendlebury, an experienced property lawyer who took up her role leading Bevan Brittan’s Birmingham office at the start of the year said: “The property market is experiencing an upheaval in many parts of the UK, but I expect that the West Midlands will have the resilience to withstand this.”
She points to the impact of major infrastructure projects like HS2 and the Midland Metro expansion. “The prospect of a high speed rail link connecting Birmingham with London and other major UK cities (notwithstanding the uncertainty around timing caused by the pause on aspects of it) is having a positive effect on confidence in the city and will be a factor in the city’s response to the challenges facing the wider UK economy.
“More people are looking to move out of London following Covid-19 and the rise of hybrid working. We’re seeing the effect already, with firms like Goldman Sachs expanding in Birmingham. In addition, the expansion of the Metro allows greater connectivity and access to opportunities at a more local level. ”
When it comes to levelling-up in the West Midlands, Rebecca agrees with Mayor Andy Street that greater fiscal devolution is the way forward.
“The approach suggested by Andy Street makes sense. We need more decisions on funding to be taken locally by the people who know where the money will have the biggest impact so the Deeper Devolution Deal is a significant step forward.”
The region has lots of potential according to Rebecca. “Birmingham has a young population and the vibrancy that comes with that. It is a great place for businesses to operate. We have fantastic universities based here, we need to do all we can to encourage these talented graduates to stay in the region.”
This optimism for the region is reflected in Bevan Brittan’s growth in the West Midlands, where it now employs 100 people in its Birmingham office. This growth has prompted a planned move to new premises at 45 Church Street this spring.
“We’ve seen a lot of growth, particularly in our commercial property and construction teams, and I expect that to continue,” adds Rebecca. “Bevan Brittan has worked on some fantastic projects in the Midlands, including Warwickshire County Council’s joint venture with Countryside Homes and the Birmingham Smithfield project.”
Members of the Bevan Brittan Birmingham team will be attending the UK Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum on 16 – 18 May. Come and join them on the second day (17 May) for breakfast and networking, followed by a panel discussion on: District Heat and Sustainability – how can we decarbonise and what’s in the pipeline? Register here.