An aerial view of the city of Birmingham, showing modern properties and transport links

The expected long-term impact of Commonwealth Games on Birmingham

With the Tokyo Olympics recently finishing, eyes are now turning to the Commonwealth Games 2022, which is under one year away. What is the expected long-term impact on Birmingham and the wider region?

Birmingham will host the Commonwealth Games between 28 July and 8 August 2022. Approximately 4,500 athletes from 72 nations and territories will compete in 19 sports and eight para-sports.

For the sporting event, there will be 14 competition venues in Birmingham and the wider region. It’s the biggest event to come to the West Midlands. And it’s the largest sporting event in the UK since London 2012 Olympics.

The Commonwealth Games is expected to attract over 1m spectators to Birmingham and have a global TV audience of 1.5bn. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase the city and region on a global stage.

Neil Rami, chief executive of West Midlands Growth Company, says: “We already know that the West Midlands is a fantastic place to visit, to invest, to trade and to meet. The international profile offered by the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will help us take this message to more people than ever before.”

Economic impact

Birmingham is set to benefit from the Commonwealth Games legacy. The Games has an illustrious record of improving the economies of host cities and countries. Manchester hosted in 2002 and saw strong economic benefits.

The Games can come with as much as £1bn economic benefit. Research by The Commonwealth Games Federation shows that the event has previously provided an economic boost between £800m and £1.2m.

Graham Stuart, Minister for Exports, comments: “Birmingham 2022 will boost exports, attract inward investment and give both the Midlands and the rest of the UK the shot in the arm required to recover from the pandemic and create more and better paying jobs over the years to come.”

Business and tourism programme

The UK government is using the games to facilitate additional investment to the city of Birmingham and wider region. This could be worth a forecasted £650m of additional foreign investment and could generate £7m of additional exports until 2027.

A business and tourism programme of £24m will attract more visitors, events and trade to the West Midlands and UK as a whole. This will further boost the long-term economic impact of the Games and will further lift Birmingham as an important business region.

Birmingham and the West Midlands will see benefit through business and trade opportunities, job creation and tourism. As part of this budget, the UK will arrange trade missions, create meetings with potential investors and organise promotional campaigns.

Dame Louise Martin, president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, explains: “The Commonwealth Games provides a unique opportunity to boost the profile of a city and a country. It creates the jobs, infrastructure and investment that provide numerous tangible benefits for the local community.”

Infrastructure and housing

A total of £778m worth of investment will help deliver world-class venues and generate a number of benefits for locals in Birmingham. The Alexander Stadium is undergoing a £72m transformation. A new aquatics centre is also being built. The leisure facility will then open to the public in 2023.

Perry Barr, which is a suburban area located a 15-minute journey north-west of the city centre, will be the epicentre of the Commonwealth Games. It’s seeing an unprecedented level of investment due to the Games.

Additionally, a major masterplan will transform the area across the next two decades. This includes improvements to public transport and creating new homes and retail, leisure and community spaces. The masterplan will transform this part of Birmingham and bring additional regeneration and investment to the city.

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