Birmingham to bid for 2026 Commonwealth Games

Birmingham to bid for 2026 Commonwealth Games

Birmingham is announcing its intention to enter the race to host the Commonwealth Games in 2026 and is calling on the entire region to get behind the bid.

With the full support of Birmingham City Council, the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, the West Midlands Combined Authority and Midlands Engine, the bid has the potential to generate in excess of £390m GVA for the local economy, create thousands of jobs and catapult the region onto the global stage.

Cllr Ian Ward, deputy leader of Birmingham City Council, said: "We’re calling on the entire region to get behind this bid. 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."

As well as showcasing the region, the Commonwealth Games have a record of providing economic benefits; the Glasgow Games in 2014 generated nearly £740m worth of GVA for Scotland and attracted 690,000 additional visitors.

The Games in Durban in South Africa in 2022 are expected to create 1,000 jobs directly and a further 4,500 in supply chain businesses.

Cllr John Clancy, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: "Birmingham is a fantastic sporting city and we have proven ourselves to be warm, welcoming and friendly hosts to a number of international events in recent years. In addition to the huge economic impact, these events showcase the very best of our city and wider region to the world. I hope that we get to do that yet again in 2026 and you can be sure the Games would be a huge success in Birmingham." 

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.

"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."

71 teams will take part in the Commonwealth Games in sports such as athletics, bowls, netball, rugby sevens, gymnastics, swimming and boxing.

Birmingham City Council will now commission a full feasibility study and form the Commonwealth Games 2026 bid organising committee to progress the city and region’s ambition to host the profile event. The winning city will be unveiled in November 2019.


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