Birmingham is to be the UK’s official candidate city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Culture Secretary Karen Bradley has announced.
The West Midlands region coming together to support the Birmingham bid was seen as pivotal to securing the UK's nomination for the event.
The city’s bid plans have impressed the government that believes that, should Birmingham’s bid be successful, hosting the Games would provide value for the public money that would be invested and have benefits for Birmingham, the West Midlands and the UK as a whole.
How Birmingham's Alexander Stadium could look at the 2022 Commonwealth Games
Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, said:
“This is another really important hurdle to overcome as we pursue our ambition to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
“What has made this possible is the whole of the West Midlands region coming together to support Birmingham’s bid. That is what has made the vital difference.
“Now we need to focus our attentions on the international competition and ensure we secure the Commonwealth Games for Birmingham and the West Midlands.”
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Karen Bradley said:
“The Commonwealth Games in Birmingham would be brilliant. It would showcase the best of Britain to the world and make the entire country proud. Not only would it help grow the economy in the West Midlands and beyond, it would also leave a strong sports legacy, by upgrading facilities to benefit both elite athletes and the local community.
“Birmingham’s bid has the backing of the government and our focus now is to work alongside Birmingham’s excellent bid team and Commonwealth Games England to put forward the strongest possible bid to the Commonwealth Games Federation, while ensuring that we get maximum value for money for the taxpayer.
“The UK has fantastic expertise in staging major sporting events and it would be a privilege to welcome athletes and supporters from across the Commonwealth to Birmingham and the West Midlands in 2022.”
Birmingham’s bid uses competition venues in Solihull, Coventry, Sandwell and Leamington Spa as well as training venues across the region, bringing benefits not just to the city, but to the wider West Midlands.
Sitting at the heart of the UK, and representing the diversity of the Commonwealth, Birmingham is well positioned to attract people to the Games and to ensure that the benefits of hosting extend from the city and region, to across the UK.
Birmingham’s bid showcases its youth and diversity alongside a world class reputation for sport and culture. With ninety-five percent of Birmingham’s proposed competitive venues already in existence this is a low risk, high quality proposition well placed to meet the challenge of delivering the Games within five years.
Councillor Ian Ward, Interim Leader of Birmingham City Council and Chair of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bid Committee, said:
“We have worked closely with the DCMS and the Treasury to create a compelling, compliant and value for money bid for Birmingham to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The support of the UK Government is a great endorsement of our bid and we are excited about finalising our submission and edging closer to the opportunity to bring the Games to Birmingham.
“The support we have received from a range of public and private sector partners and from across the wider West Midlands region and beyond has been incredible and we thank everyone for backing Brum’s bid to get us this far.”
Ian Metcalfe, Chair of Commonwealth Games England said:
“Anyone who experienced Manchester in 2002, London in 2012 or Glasgow in 2014 will know just how special major sporting events in the UK can be. I am sure that Birmingham can stage an unforgettable Commonwealth Games in 2022. Birmingham’s exciting bid shows that the Games will not only deliver a sport programme of the highest calibre but also provide an amazing platform for the country as a whole.
“On behalf of Commonwealth Games England I would like to thank both the Government and Birmingham 2022 for their hard work and support to date.
“Alongside the Birmingham 2022 team, we look forward to presenting the strongest possible bid to the Commonwealth Games Federation in the hope that we can welcome the whole Commonwealth movement to England for the Games in 2022.”
The government’s decision follows an extensive three phase assessment process that has tested Birmingham’s hosting credentials. This included being subjected to scrutiny from an independent assessment panel and officials from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the submission of two formal applications and two site inspection visits.
Previous major sporting events hosted in the UK, such as the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2015 Rugby World Cup, have all shown how major sporting events can generate a positive return on investment.
Work on the expected cost of hosting the Commonwealth Games 2022, if Birmingham was selected, is ongoing. Should Birmingham win the right to host the Games, the government will present to Parliament a full budget, once it has been finalised. This budget will include staging, the cost of constructing and upgrading facilities, security and a prudent contingency. If the bid is successful, the government will be the major funder with Birmingham City Council contributing 25 per cent to the cost of the Games. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport would manage the financing of the Games and will bear down heavily on costs to ensure value for public expenditure.
The government, Birmingham 2022 bid team and Commonwealth Games England are finalising the formal bid submission. Commonwealth Games England will submit the bid to the Commonwealth Games Federation tomorrow (30 September).