Each month we talk to a new character in town to discuss living and working in Birmingham. This month it’s Jas Sansi from Jas Sansi Photography
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I’m a freelance photographer based in Birmingham. I photograph numerous events in the city, ranging from the Chinese New Year celebrations in Southside to Birmingham Young Professional of the Year. My wide customer base reflects the diversity of our amazing city.
HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN?
My desk is in Handsworth Wood about 3.5 miles from the Birmingham ICC which is a second home to me these days. The camera equipment is very heavy so I have to drive into town, but it’s a good, quick route which takes about 10 minutes – just enough time to listen to Free Radio or Radio 4.
IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK?
It’s the best. Birmingham is a very big city yet it sometimes feels like a village. The business community here is very supportive and I’ve personally benefitted from a lot of excellent advice and help from those around me.
When I need a pitstop for refreshment, the Hyatt, Broad Street serves excellent coffee in a very attractive environment. The Café at Library of Birmingham is also very good.
For a client meeting, it has to be Asha’s in Colmore Business District. They have an excellent lunch offering. Chef Gurneet Singh is one of the city’s culinary geniuses – and we have quite a few!
The Canal paths around Brindleyplace are perfect for a breath of fresh air. The redevelopment of the whole area is 15 years old but continues to set a benchmark of excellence for the region. It’s a place I love to bring overseas visitors to. They leave Brum with great memories.
FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY?
Colmore Business District has stunning architecture, both listed buildings and new developments. I was born in Winson Green and still have great affection for it. The recent C4 TV programme Benefits Street, which was set in the area, was a complete stitch-up.
The Grove in Handsworth for its food, the Black Eagle in Hockley for its guest beers and the White Swan in Edgbaston for its class. A very diverse selection of pubs, again reflecting how it’s all here in Birmingham.
HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER?
The High Speed 2 link will be a game changer. With London property prices out of reach for the very people who make cities work, HS2 will make Birmingham a commuter city for London. My prediction is that future jobs in London will include an annual season ticket on HS2. The benefit to Birmingham will be people working in London but injecting money into this region. As a HS2 supporter, that’s quite a controversial thing to say. The North South divide discussion is over. London and the South East is now a different country. I recently tweeted my surprise they have not demanded a referendum for independence.