The process to formally draw up a feasibility study for a Birmingham bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games is now out of the starting blocks.
Birmingham City Council has appointed Origin Sports Group to carry out the study during the first quarter of 2017, with a final document due by April.
Origin Sports Group (OSG) leads a consortium with members Four Communications, PwC and Trivandi, which has an unrivalled track record when it comes to the preparation of major events.
Leading an expert panel established by OSG is Alan Pascoe MBE (Executive Chairman of The Partnership Consultancy) who was Vice Chairman of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He has worked on every Commonwealth Games since 1992, helping many cities with their winning bids, including Glasgow for 2014, as well as working on many of the major events hosted by Birmingham.
And Sir Keith Mills (chairman of Origin Sports Group) was the CEO of London 2012, the company that successfully won the bid for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He was also chairman of the Invictus Games 2014, delivering the brand new para-sport event in just seven months.
The study’s cost, which will pay for Origin Sports Group’s extensive knowledge and expertise on what any aspiring bid needs to include to succeed, is capped at £170,000, of which the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) is contributing £50,000.
Cllr Ian Ward, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Origin Sports Group has an unrivalled track record in the preparation of feasibility studies and sports event organisation, so they are a natural choice to become one of our partners at the start of the journey we hope will deliver the Commonwealth Games in 2026.
“Based on the experience of the most recent UK hosts Glasgow, the city of Birmingham and the wider West Midlands region would benefit enormously from the games coming here – in terms of accelerating economic infrastructure and inclusive growth for the city; delivering a sporting legacy, in particular at a grassroots level; and repositioning the image and profile of Birmingham as a global city.
“Through the feasibility study, we’ll know what is needed to make the games work and become a success.”
Origin Sports Group project lead Debbie Jevans said: “We were extremely pleased to be selected from such a competitive tender process. We will bring our varied and extensive bid experience to deliver a comprehensive feasibility assessment of Birmingham’s credentials as a host for the 2026 Commonwealth Games. We look forward to working closely with Birmingham City Council and its key stakeholders.”
Steve Hollis, Chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, which has contributed to the cost of the study, said: “I’m delighted to see the feasibility study work progressing. Greater Birmingham is perfectly poised to welcome the thousands of sports fans and athletes for the Commonwealth Games in 2026.
“We are one of the most connected regions in the world with unrivalled transport links, accommodation, world-class venues and entertainment. Unlike other cities considering bidding, we already have significant infrastructure in place and HS2 is also set to be operational from 2026.
“The Commonwealth Games is an incredible opportunity to showcase the Midlands region. The Games will not only attract interest in the region and contribute significantly to the local economy, but will also provide legacy investment opportunities.”
Notes to editors:
The feasibility study will look at what facilities and infrastructure are needed for a Birmingham bid, so the council and its partners can then develop firm proposals for the games. It will cover the requirements for:
- 6,500 athletes and officials from 71 countries
- Up to 17 events (10 core) plus para-sport events
- 80,000 workforce including volunteers and contractors
- 12-15 competition venues, 10 non-competitor venues and 30 training venues
- 1,000 hours of live broadcast coverage to a 1.5 billion global audience
- Ticket sales of c.1.5m
- The Queen’s Baton Relay