Birmingham & Black Country

Brummie history week and city ambassadors plans

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Media captionThe BBC's Phil Mackie asked people in Birmingham what it meant to be a Brummie

Welcome packs for new immigrants, a history week and Brummie "ambassadors" could be introduced in Birmingham.

The suggestions have been put forward to Birmingham City Council after a three-month inquiry looking at levels of social cohesion in the area.

People were asked why they chose to live there and whether they "consider themselves Brummie".

The inquiry defined a Brummie as someone who is "hard working, creative and self-deprecating".

Members of the Labour-run council, academics, journalists and business groups took part in the inquiry.

The report found the term Brummie means very little to many of the 1.1 million people from 187 different countries who live in the city.

'Place not religion'

Dr Jenny Phillimore, director of the institute for research into super diversity at the University of Birmingham, said: "There are people from pretty much every country in the world in Birmingham and the challenge is how do we bring them together and do we bring them together?

"Perhaps we need to focus on place rather than ethnicity or religion."

She added people living in places such as Handsworth wanted more opportunity to "shape their neighbourhood".

"People expressed a desire to participate so I think there's a lot of potential there," she said.

"This is a challenge that's facing the whole of the developed world, it's not just a Birmingham challenge."

Recommendations in the report include raising the profile of Birmingham among people already living there and the possibility of introducing Ambassadors for the City.

This would be modelled on a similar programme run by Marketing Birmingham in 2010 and would aim to recruit a team of 40 people to provide a "welcoming" on-street presence, similar to the London 2012 Games Makers.

Tackling negative perceptions of Brummies and improving the city's brand image were also suggested by the report.

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