Marketing Birmingham to secure wider remit

By on 03/09/2010 in News

Marketing Birmingham to secure wider remit with ambitious job creation targets in new SLA

Birmingham City Council is set to transfer the city's inward investment function as part of a new SLA (Service Level Agreement) with Marketing Birmingham.

Birmingham City Council's Cabinet will next Monday (6 September) be asked to widen the focus of the city's strategic marketing agency with the additional target of growing the private sector through the attraction of inward investment to create 6,700 new jobs.  This will sit alongside its existing strategy to expand Birmingham's visitor economy, an industry worth £4.4 billion in 2009.  The remit has been enlarged as part of proposals for the renewal of the SLA between the Council and the public/private partnership.

The new SLA will set out a four-year programme through which the Council will part-fund Marketing Birmingham with £2.5 million annually over the duration of the agreement and renew its contract to manage Birmingham's annual £2 million Events and Conferencing Subvention fund. 

The brief for the public/private partnership, which currently attracts £1.6m from commercial partners, will demand it grows the city's private sector through the establishment of Birmingham as a global business destination.  It will be required to deliver more than double the current job creation target held by Locate in Birmingham but with its budget reduced by a third.  The transfer of the inward investment function will see the streamlining of the existing function from 14 to 6 executives.

Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council and Honorary President of Marketing Birmingham, commented:

“This is a major step forward in the promotion of Birmingham as a business destination on the global stage.  The sales and marketing programme will have challenging targets for job creation and the improved perception of the city within the international business community.  As a city we must focus on delivering more for less, which can only be achieved through close partnership working between the public and private sectors.”

The proposal follows a Birmingham City Council Scrutiny Committee report earlier this year that outlined the need to work more closely with Marketing Birmingham. The current SLA reported an increase in visitors to Birmingham from 29 million in 2006 to 32.6 million in 2009*.  The events and conferencing sector, which uses the Events and Conferencing Subvention fund, exceeded targets by £5 million during its management by Marketing Birmingham, with an economic impact of £142 million.  This included the attraction of the 2009 Rotary International Conference and a series of political conferences to the city such as the Conservative Party Autumn Conference 2010.

Paul Kehoe, Chairman of Marketing Birmingham and Chief Executive of Birmingham International Airport commented:

“The widening of our remit is testament to the strong results achieved over the past four years within the visitor economy through close partnership working with the public and private sector.  The next four years will take place in a challenging economic climate but it is essential that we focus on job creation.  Marketing Birmingham intends do this by implementing a robust sales programme targeting international investment into the city.”

Key targets within the SLA include:

• Creation of 6,700 new jobs as part of the new inward investment function

• Increasing the total number of visitors to Birmingham from 32.6m per year (2009/10) to 37m (2014/15)

• Increasing the annual economic impact of leisure tourism to the city from £4.4b (2009/10) to £5.1b (2014/15)

• Increasing the number of overseas visitors to the city each year from 707,000 (2009/10) to 819,6060 (2014/15)

• By 2015 achieving a minimum ranking of 11th on the Cushman & Wakefield European City Monitor and 47th on the Mercer Quality of Living Index. (Birmingham is currently ranked 14th and 56th respectively)

Notes to editor:

*STEAM figures released for 2009 in July 2010

Marketing Birmingham

Marketing Birmingham is the city's public/private sector strategic marketing partnership, the driving force behind the growth of Birmingham's visitor economy, its growing reputation and is the new impetus behind the inward investment strategy for the city.

Marketing Birmingham is part-funded by Birmingham City Council and other public sector organisations with significant financial support from private business.

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