Vaccine Design 2017 Meeting & Hospitality
Birmingham is the second largest city of the United Kingdom and a metropolitan borough in the West Midlands metropolitan county. It lies near the geographic center of England, at the crossing points of the national railway and motorway systems. Birmingham is the largest city of the West Midlands conurbation—one of England’s principal industrial and commercial areas—for which it acts as an administrative, recreational, and cultural center. The city lies approximately 110 miles (177 km) northwest of London. Birmingham remains the chief center of Britain’s light and medium industry and is still sometimes described as “the city of 1,001 different trades.” The key to its economic success was the diversity of its industrial base, though it has been principally concerned with the metal and engineering trades. The largest single industry in terms of employment is the production of motor vehicles. Bicycles and motorcycles are made in the area, though the bicycle trade has declined. The city is also one of the main emphases of the machine-tool industry. Since the 1970s, however, the city’s service sector has grown to rival the manufacturing sector. The central focus of Birmingham is Victoria Square, with the classical Town Hall (1834), the Renaissance-style Council House (1874–81), and the City of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, which is noted for its Pre-Raphaelite paintings and its English watercolors. St. Philip’s Cathedral (1715), in its green churchyard, forms another focus, and the Georgian area around St. Paul’s Church (1779) also has a character of its own. Other Centre have formed around St. Chad’s Cathedral (Roman Catholic), designed by A.W.N. Pugin (1841); Centenary Square (1989) and the adjacent International Convention Centre (1991); and the Bullring shopping Centre (2003), whose centerpiece, Selfridges department store, has won numerous design awards. The store’s curved form, covered with 15,000 aluminum discs, serves as a dramatic counterpoint to its neighbor, the Neo-Gothic St. Martin’s Church. The Birmingham Repertory Theatre, opened in 1913, has acquired national renown. The Birmingham Hippodrome plays host to original theatrical productions and serves as the home for the Birmingham Royal Ballet company. The Birmingham and Midland Institute also has educational and artistic facilities. The University of Birmingham (1900), Aston University (1966), and Birmingham City University (1992; formerly the University of Central England) are the chief institutions of higher education. Famous residents have included Edward Burne-Jones, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Ozzy Osbourne.