Birmingham has declared its intention to bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games and has called on the entire region to support it.
The bid has the potential to generate in excess of £390m GVA for the local economy, create thousands of jobs and put the region on the global stage. And preparation for it will also help boost the city’s transport and housing plans.
The Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, the West Midlands Combined Authority and Midlands Engine have all thrown their collective weight behind the city’s bid, but Cllr Ian Ward, deputy leader of Birmingham City Council, called for more support.
‘We’re calling on the entire region to get behind this bid,’ he said.
‘The economic benefit, not to mention the excitement and legacy of such an immense sporting event would have on this area, is massive.
‘We are the perfect choice to host the Commonwealth Games.’
Scotland reaped a number of benefits when Glasgow hosted the games in 2014. The Glasgow Games generated nearly £740m worth of GVA for Scotland, and attracted 690,000 additional visitors.
Steve Hollis, deputy and interim chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, said: ‘Greater Birmingham is perfectly poised to welcome the thousands of sports fans and athletes for the Commonwealth Games in 2026.
‘We are one of the most connected regions in the world with unrivalled transport links, accommodation, world-class venues and entertainment.’
‘Unlike other cities considering bidding, we already have significant infrastructure in place and HS2 is also set to be operational from 2026,’ he continued.
‘Working collaboratively across the public and private sector has been the cornerstone of our economic success – and it’s that spirit that gives us a great chance of bringing the Games to Birmingham.’