Birmingham clears first hurdle on Commonwealth Games bid

The team behind Birmingham’s bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games has submitted its Preliminary Questionnaire response to the Government.

The Birmingham Commonwealth Games Steering Group hopes it can demonstrate that the city is capable of staging such a high profile sporting event.

The city’s decision to bid is based on a feasibility study that explored both how the Games would be delivered and why it would be beneficial for the city and the wider region.

It said 95% of the proposed competitive venues are already in place, which the city hopes will give it an edge over rival, Liverpool.

As such, the city said it had “adopted a prudent and innovative approach to creating a low cost, low risk, high quality Games”.

It has stressed the city’s excellent transport and connectivity, with 28 million people within two hours’ drive and 90% of the UK within four hours’ travel. International, national and local transport links provide access to 400 million people across Europe.

The city’s claim to have the youngest population in Europe, with nearly 40% of the people under 25 and the highest proportion of under 20 year olds of any major city in the UK have both been highlighted.

Birmingham is the most ethnically and culturally diverse major regional city in the UK, with a population comprising 187 different nationalities and with 314,000 (6%) of residents in the West Midlands born in a Commonwealth country.

Finally, hosting such as event would be a major catalyst toward regeneration, with the Games accelerating key aspects of the Birmingham Development Plan 2031, leading to job creation, growth and new sporting legacy for the future use of the city’s population.

A track record of delivering large international sporting events, recently hosting: the ICC Champions Trophy and The Ashes at Edgbaston; Rugby World Cup fixtures at Villa Park; Diamond League athletics meetings at the Alexander Stadium; the Aegon Classic tennis championships at the Edgbaston Priory Club; the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships; and the UCI BMX Championships is also significant.

Ian Ward, deputy leader Birmingham City Council and chair, Birmingham Commonwealth Games Steering Group, said: “Hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games will accelerate Birmingham’s existing development plans for homes, jobs, services and infrastructure.

“Sitting at the heart of the UK and standing for the diversity of the Commonwealth, with our population made up over 187 different nationalities, we are in a strong position to attract people to the Games and ensure that the benefits of hosting extend from the city and region, to the UK and Commonwealth.”

The bid has the full support of: Birmingham City Council; three regional LEPs (Greater Birmingham and Solihull; Black Country; and Coventry and Warwickshire); the West Midlands Combined Authority; the West Midlands Growth Company, Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and the newly-elected Mayor of West Midlands, Andy Street.

The Birmingham 2022 Bid is managed by the Steering Group, comprising: