A Birmingham bid to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022 has today been endorsed by the Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bid Company – on the same day the UK Government has said it was ready to work with cities interested in hosting the Games.
At a meeting on Friday (April 21), the Birmingham bid company reviewed a detailed feasibility study produced by a consortium led by consultants Origin Sports Group and decided it would be in the best interests of Birmingham and the wider region to put forward a proposal to stage the event, last hosted in England in 2002.
The city had initially been preparing a study for the 2026 Games, but the plans were brought forward following the news Durban will no longer be staging the 2022 Games as planned in South Africa.
Exact details of the Birmingham feasibility study will remain confidential at this stage whilst the report is taken through the cross-party political and democratic processes of the city council.
The study will then form part of a public report to the council Cabinet in the coming weeks, at which point everyone with an interest in the proposed bid will be able to analyse its merits.
It is understood the merits of formal proposals from cities across the UK will be considered by the relevant Commonwealth Games bodies and the Government before the selection of a home country candidate bid to compete against rivals from other Commonwealth nations for the honour of staging the games.
The Commonwealth Games Federation is expected to make a final decision on the replacement 2022 host by “mid-summer” of this year.
Cllr Ian Ward, Chair of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bid Company, said: “We now have confirmation from our consultants that a Birmingham bid for the Commonwealth Games is feasible and has a strong chance of success.
“Given today’s announcement that the Government wants to hear from cities interested in hosting the 2022 Games, we are making it clear we have an interest in being considered for the privilege.
“The feasibility study, if endorsed by the city council as is hoped, puts us in prime position to move forward.”
The UK Government announcement can be found online here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-eyes-up-commonwealth-games-2022-bid
ENDORSEMENTS FROM ACROSS BIRMINGHAM
Steve Hollis, chairman of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP:
“It would be fantastic to see Birmingham put forward a bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games – and given our unrivalled transport links, accommodation and world-class venues, we’re ideally placed to succeed.”
“Organising an event of this scale will once again highlight the region’s credentials on an international stage. The Games will provide both a welcome boost in in-event spending for the local economy and the opportunity to create a real legacy by driving long-term investment opportunities and regeneration in parts of the city.”
“With Greater Birmingham in the midst of an economic renaissance, it would be a pleasure to welcome thousands of athletes, tourists and sports fans alike to enjoy all that the city region has to offer.”
Fiona Allan, Chief Executive, Birmingham Hippodrome:
“It’s very important for Birmingham to be bidding for the Commonwealth Games to be hosted here – we are a city of global citizens, with a world class sporting and cultural offer. It’s our chance to demonstrate how incredibly friendly and exciting Birmingham is, a confident city capable of hosting major international events, with plenty to occupy tourists during their stay. Birmingham Hippodrome is proud to support the bid and look forward to working in partnership to showcase our great city to the world.”
Neil Snowball, Chief Executive of Warwickshire County Cricket Club:
“In recent years, Birmingham has proved itself as one of the most experienced and best equipped cities when it comes to hosting global sporting events.
“In addition to having world class sports stadia and arenas, we have seen substantial investment in the city’s infrastructure and Birmingham also enjoys an ever-expanding choice of city-centre hotels and accommodation, and has a thriving restaurant and dining scene.
“Our city has one of the youngest and most diverse populations in the country, we absolutely have the ability to host a spectacular Commonwealth Games here in Birmingham and we are delighted to support the bid.”
Paul Faulkner, chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC):
“The business community in Greater Birmingham will fully support this initiative. It presents a huge range of opportunities for all businesses and the bid itself will bring a focus on Birmingham at a time when it is driving its importance on the global stage. The Games are recognised as having the potential to generate in excess of £390 million GVA for the local economy, create thousands of jobs and catapult the region onto the global stage.
“We already have a great track record in delivering huge sporting events, including the World Indoor Athletics Championships, ICC Champions Trophy, Davis Cup tennis, the British Basketball League Finals, the All England Open Badminton Championships, the Rugby World Cup and championship boxing.”
Clare Lewis, Executive Director, DanceXchange:
“The Commonwealth Games presents a great opportunity to bring the world to Birmingham, to showcase our rich cultural offer, and to attract positive profile for the city. We would be excited to be part of the associated cultural programme, particularly as this would coincide with International Dance Festival Birmingham 2022, our award-winning biennial festival. How inspirational it would be to fill our city with outstanding international dancers and athletes. Both sport and dance have the ability to communicate across cultural divides, to bring people together, and to get people moving. We see potential to do something really interesting together to maximise this opportunity for the city and our diverse communities.”
Jabbar Khan, owner of Birmingham’s award-winning Lasan restaurant group:
“Birmingham has a tremendous heritage and has long been a world-class city; it’s high time we were hosting events of this magnitude. What’s more, our welcome is famously warm and visitors will have a fantastic opportunity to experience the city’s vibrant culture and its uniquely colourful culinary scene. Let the games begin!”
Anita Bhalla, Board Member of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP:
“Birmingham and the region has a proven track record in hosting major sporting events, so we are well positioned to deliver a Games to remember.
“The Games will provide us with an opportunity not only to show our sporting strength, but also our historic links to the Commonwealth. It will also allow us to showcase the richness of our cultural heritage, and will go big with our arts and culture offer. It will further enhance the region’s tourism offer and support our growing economy.”
Antonio Simoes, CEO of HSBC Bank plc:
“Birmingham is a dynamic city with a strong track record of hosting major events and it would make a fantastic host city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Our roots in the UK began in Birmingham over 180 years ago and we chose the city as the home of HSBC UK’s new head office because of its strong connectivity at the heart of the UK and its ongoing revitalisation. We want to build a better bank for our customers and people. A successful bid would be great news for local businesses, the local economy and the Midlands region as a whole.”