Commonwealth Games economic programme delivers 2,600 jobs

More than 2,600 jobs have been delivered by an economic development programme that ran alongside the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The news came at the official closing event for the Business and Tourism Programme (BATP), held last Friday at the REP and the Library of Birmingham.

Organisers revealed that the schedule of more than 450 global events has boosted employment in the region by helping to attract 60 foreign investment projects to the West Midlands.

The programme has also helped to bring in more than 141 million visitors in 2022, contributing £17.2m to the region’s economy.

Launched in 2021, the BATP was the first economic legacy programme to be aligned to a Commonwealth Games. Delivered by the West Midlands Growth Company (WMGC) in collaboration with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), the Department for Business and Trade (DBT), Visit Britain and the West Midlands Combined Authority, the programme aimed to capitalise on the ‘halo effect’ of the Games by boosting trade, investment and tourism.

Although the benefits of the BATP are expected to be felt until 2027, the programme has already helped to deliver a record-breaking year for the West Midlands, which has led the UK’s COVID recovery with record visitor numbers in 2022 and become the country’s top location for foreign investment outside London.

With the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games contributing more than £430m to the regional economy, a key focus of the BATP has been securing additional major sporting events and conferences for the region. So far, the programme has already secured a total of 20 business and sporting events – including the FIM World Supercross Championships in 2023, the Kabaddi World Club in 2025 and the European Athletics Championships in 2026 – meeting its target four years ahead of schedule.

Stuart Andrew, sports minister at Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, said: “This time last year Birmingham showcased itself to the world with a record-breaking Commonwealth Games. It highlighted the UK’s strong track record when it comes to hosting premier sporting events.

“As a part of this success, the Business and Tourism Programme contributed more than £17 million to the West Midlands economy. It has also created more than 2,500 jobs since its inception.

“We are determined to see that legacy continue and are investing another £70 million to boost jobs and skills, fund cultural and creative projects, and improve access to sports facilities for the next generation of stars.”

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said:  “The 2022 Commonwealth Games showcased Birmingham and the West Midlands to the world. The Business and Tourism Programme was an integral part of that promotional endeavour.

“Over the past two years, we’ve been pitching Brand WM to new audiences all around the world – attracting record numbers of visitors and levels of investment to our region.

“The results are clear to see. Whether it’s the latest tourism figures or foreign direct investment statistics, we can see that the eyes of the world are on the West Midlands like never before. The Games were an essential part of that marketing success story.”

Neil Rami, chief executive of the West Midlands Growth Company, said:
“The Business and Tourism Programme has provided a springboard for the West Midlands and it’s been great to reflect on those successes, as well as the unique spirit of collaboration and shared sense of vision that major events can invoke.

“Despite the benefits realisation period running until 2027, the BATP has already made a lasting impact, both in terms of its contribution to the regional economy and serves as a template for future success when it comes to marketing the region internationally.”

The BATP is sponsored by E.ON, Airbnb, Reckitt, University of Birmingham, Bruntwood, Lendlease and Gowling WLG.