Top 10 things you didn’t know about Birmingham …

1. Birmingham has the largest number of young people in its city than any of its European counterparts. Of the city’s hugely multicultural population, a staggering 40% is made up of people under 25.

2. Perfectly located at the heart of England, Birmingham was a hugely industrious city in the 18th century. To transport goods from Birmingham to the surrounding areas, traders developed and used a fantastic network of canals and waterways. These waterways were first opened in 1769 and the city has over 50 kilometres of canals –  even more than Venice!

3. Despite the industrial nature of this fabulous city, Birmingham is extremely proud to be one of the greenest cities in the UK. With over 8,000 acres of parks and green space, Birmingham is a haven for nature lovers living in the city, and even has more trees than Paris.

4. The National Exhibition Centre (NEC), International Convention Centre (ICC) and LG Arena are all centrally located in Birmingham, where they host over 250,000 conferences, exhibitions and concerts each year bringing a wealth of knowledge, visitors and tourism to the area from across the UK and Europe.

5. Birmingham is home to the world renown chocolate manufacturer Cadburys Chocolate, in Bournville. This family-run factory receives tens of thousands of visitors through its doors each year to see first hand how their chocolate is made, and to sample the delights as they tour around this chocolate wonderland.

6. Birmingham Hippodrome is the nation’s busiest theatre with over 520,000 visitors attending performances each year – making it even more popular than London’s West End.

7. The iconic ‘Mini’ car, made famous by featuring in the classic film ‘The Italian Job’, was designed by Alec Issigonis and manufactured in Longbridge, Birmingham in 1959.

8.  Birmingham’s Victoria Square is home to ‘The River’, a beautiful stone fountain that is one of the largest in Europe. The fountain has an incredible 3,000 gallons of water flowing through it each year.

9. Home to the world’s most skilled jewellers, the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter is a national treasure with a mecca of independent designers that produce exquisite handmade pieces. The historic quarter has 1.07km of stores and dates back to 1780. The Jewellery Quarter is synonymous with Birmingham and up to 40% of all UK jewellery is made here.

10. Birmingham is home to the historic Bull Ring and is renown for its rag market trade. This huge retail centre attracts over 20 million shoppers and tourists across the country each year.

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