About Birmingham

A medium-sized market town during the medieval period, Birmingham grew to international prominence in the 18th century at the heart of the Midlands Enlightenment and subsequent Industrial Revolution, which saw the town at the forefront of worldwide developments in science, technology and economic organisation, producing a series of innovations that laid many of the foundations of modern industrial society.

By 1791 it was being hailed as "the first manufacturing town in the world". Birmingham's distinctive economic profile, with thousands of small workshops practising a wide variety of specialised and highly-skilled trades, encouraged exceptional levels of creativity and innovation, and provided a diverse and resilient economic base for an industrial prosperity that was to last into the final quarter of the 20th century. Its resulting high level of social mobility also fostered a culture of broad-based political radicalism, that under leaders from Thomas Attwood to Joseph Chamberlain was to give it a political influence unparalleled in Britain outside London, and a pivotal role in the development of British democracy.
Today Birmingham is a major international commercial centre, ranked as a beta− world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network; and an important transport, retail, events and conference hub. With a GDP of $90bn (2008 estimate, PPP), the economy of the urban agglomeration is the second largest in the UK and the 72nd largest in the world.

Birmingham's three universities and two university colleges make it the largest centre of higher education in the United Kingdom outside London, and its major cultural institutions, including the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, enjoy international reputations. The Big City Plan is a large redevelopment plan currently underway in the city centre with the aim of making Birmingham one of the top 20 most liveable cities in the world within 20 years.

Birmingham Canals 3

Top 5 things you need to know:

+ 80% of the UK population can reach Birmingham in 90 minutes
+ There are over 6,200 hotel rooms within walking distance of the ICC
+ The city is home to five Michelin-starred restaurants
+ Birmingham has a vibrant cultural scene offering arts, music and theatre
+ A number one sporting destination for athletics, cricket, football & tennis

With a total of over 200 restaurants serving British and international cuisine, there is something to suit every taste.

Whether it’s a unique dining experience in a quirky independent restaurant, a quick bite of street food or simply the Birmingham version of your favourite chain restaurant, the city has it covered.

Birmingham has fast become known as a culinary capital with four Michelin-starred restaurants, more than any other English city outside London, all of which are within easy walking distance from the ICC. The Birmingham uprising on the food scene has led to recognition as the UK's "foodiest town" by BBC Magazine Olive and featuring in the top 20 List of places to go in 2012 by the New York Times.

Alternatively, if you like a curry you can't visit Birmingham without a trip to the Balti Triangle, which connects the Sparkbrook, Balsall Heath and Moseley areas to form a centre of Asian cuisine.

With such a vast selection of restaurants in the city you'll be spoilt for choice so it is worth visiting the Birmingyum webpage for some food inspiration. Brindleyplace is just a short hop across the canal from the ICC and offers a great selection of restaurants and al fresco options for the days when the sun is out. At the Mailbox, less than 5 minute walk down the canal from the ICC you will find even more restaurants to choose from.


Places of Interest near the ICC Birmingham:

Brindley Place - 0.1 miles - 3 min walk
The Mailbox - 0.3 miles - 6 min walk
National Sealife Centre - 0.3 miles - 6 min walk
Birmingham Repertory Theatre - 0.5 miles - 10 min walk
Birmingham Hippodrome - 0.8 miles - 15 min walk
Bullring Shopping Centre - 0.8 miles - 15 min walk
Jewellery Quarter - 1 mile - 22 min walk