Government ratifies Birmingham’s bid to be 2022 Commonwealth Games host

Birmingham’s bid to be the host city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games has been officially ratified by the Government.

The ratification, which had been expected, was officially announced by Culture Secretary Karen Bradley.

The announcement is significant because should the city receive final consent from the Commonwealth Games Federation then hundreds of millions of pounds of Government money is expected to be pumped into the city to help finance the event.

The city itself will also have to contribute funds – a provision which was required before the Government agreed to open its purse.

Culture Secretary 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.”

Everyone connected with the Birmingham bid are now keeping their fingers crossed the CGF will find in its favour.

A final decision is expected sometime in the autumn.

With 95% of Birmingham’s proposed competitive venues already in existence this is a low risk, high quality proposition for the Government and suggests the region is well capable of meeting the challenge of delivering the Games within five years.

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 DCMS, the submission of two formal applications and two site inspection visits.

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 contributing 25% to the cost of the Games. The DCMS would manage the financing of the Games and will bear down heavily on costs to ensure value for public expenditure.

In the meantime, Neil Rami, chief executive of the West Midlands Growth Company and a member of the Birmingham 2022 Bid team, said: “We welcome the decision by government to formally propose Birmingham as the UK’s candidate city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

“Sport is one of the best ways of raising a city’s profile across the world. With the biggest growth in international visits of any UK destination over the past five years, Birmingham has consistently proven itself to be a reliable host for high-profile events – highlighted again this week by the announcement that the 2018 Gymnastics World Cup will be staged in the city.

“A Commonwealth Games in Birmingham would give the West Midlands an opportunity to present itself as the face of modern Britain. It would allow the region to not only underline its trade and investment credentials, but to put on a great cultural spectacle to visitors from across the Commonwealth’s 71 nations.”