Perhaps Birmingham, as the second largest city in terms of population and economy in the UK, is not fully appreciated generally by the British public. Immediate thoughts of the city conjure up that famous mesh of intertwining roads, Spaghetti Junction, the bland fortress of the Bullring (pre-refurbishment) and a general industrial mosaic of factories, car plants and tower blocks creating an impression of excessive industrialisation. Whilst it’s true that the city was one of the powerhouses of the British industrial revolution, and was once described as the ‘workshop of the world’ back in the 19th century, it is now very much a modern up-to-speed national commercial centre, rooted in the service sector (78% currently) with a full and vigorous cultural and academic life to boot. It’s also fair to say that the city has plenty of attractive open spaces as well pleasant leafy suburbs to answer any charges of being the proverbial concrete jungle.
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