The Birmingham Commonwealth Games Steering Group has submitted its Preliminary Questionnaire response for bidding to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
Birmingham can demonstrate the very best of Global Britain to the world with this bid, which showcases its strengths of youth and diversity alongside its world class reputation for sport and culture. Birmingham’s decision to bid has been measured and purposeful, based on a feasibility study that explored both how the Games would be delivered and why it would be beneficial for the city and the wider region. Ninety-five percent of proposed competitive venues are already in place.
With a strong cultural programme running in parallel with sport, Birmingham is ready to extend the hand of friendship, competition and understanding to the 71 competing nations.
Vision for Birmingham 2022
Sitting at the heart of the UK, and standing for the diversity of the Commonwealth, Birmingham is well positioned to attract people to the Games and to ensure that the benefits of hosting extend from the city and region, to the UK and the Commonwealth. The advancement of the UK’s global role and the Commonwealth movement is integral to Birmingham’s 2022 vision:
‘Birmingham: heart of the UK, soul of the Commonwealth’.
Three core drivers of change are at the forefront of Birmingham’s vision:
- Connected and accessible
Situated in the geographic heart of the UK, 28 million people are within two hours’ drive of Birmingham and 90% of the UK is within four hours’ travel. International, national and local transport links provide access to 400 million people across Europe.
- Youth and inclusivity
Birmingham is a young city, with nearly 40% of the population under 25 years of age, and the highest proportion of under 20 year olds of any major city in the UK. Birmingham is the most ethnically and culturally diverse major regional city in the UK, with a population comprising 187 different nationalities and with 314,000 (6%) of residents in the West Midlands born in a Commonwealth country.
- Regeneration and rejuvenation
Hosting the Games would accelerate the implementation of key aspects of the Birmingham Development Plan 2031, including: job creation; enhancing prospects through innovative ideas for volunteering; driving long-lasting behaviour change through better sports facilities and activity programmes; and increasing housing.
Low cost, low risk, high quality Games
Birmingham has a track record of delivering large international sporting events, recently hosting: the ICC Champions Trophy and The Ashes at Edgbaston; Rugby World Cup fixtures at Villa Park; Diamond League athletics meetings at the Alexander Stadium; the Aegon Classic tennis championships at the Edgbaston Priory Club; the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships; and the UCI BMX Championships.
With 95% of the competition venues already in place, Birmingham 2022 has adopted a prudent and innovative approach to creating a low cost, low risk, high quality Games.
An enhanced and refurbished Alexander Stadium will be pivotal to the Birmingham 2022 Games. Already established as an international athletics venue and home to UK Athletics, Birmingham will strengthen its reputation as the ‘City of Running’ through improving competition and training facilities at the stadium and increasing permanent seating capacity. Through rejuvenating Alexander Stadium, Birmingham 2022 will return to the Commonwealth Games tradition of the athletics stadium hosting the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and will provide a legacy to a core Commonwealth Games sport.
Ian Ward, Deputy Leader Birmingham City Council and Chair, Birmingham Commonwealth Games Steering Group, said:
“Hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games will accelerate Birmingham’s existing development plans for homes, jobs, services and infrastructure. Sitting at the heart of the UK and standing for the diversity of the Commonwealth, with our population made up over 187 different nationalities and with 314,000 West Midlands residents born in a Commonwealth country, we are in a strong position to attract people to the Games and ensure that the benefits of hosting extend from the city and region, to the UK and Commonwealth.
“Our vision is brought to life through the new logo which positions Birmingham as the heart of the UK, soul of the Commonwealth. Our logo is open and inviting and its explosion of colour celebrates Birmingham’s super-diversity and youthful energy. Nearly 40% of our population is under 25; and our pupils speak over 100 different languages, making Birmingham an inclusive and welcoming host.”
Zena Woodridge OBE, Director of Sport, University of Birmingham, said:
“This is possibly the most exciting project for Birmingham in a generation; and the outcome of the extremely robust feasibility study gives a strong sense that this is Birmingham’s time. With the obvious need to minimise cost and risk of a 2022 Games, the engagement of some strong regional players creates an existing network of high impact venues that ensures we have a bold and ambitious bid which is eminently deliverable. If we then add into the equation Birmingham’s location and accessibility in the heart of the country, the transformation of the city over the last decade, and its strong Commonwealth ties, ‘Birmingham 2022’ is surely a winning option for the city, region, UK and Commonwealth Games Federation.”
Anita Bhalla OBE, Board Member, Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, said:
“Birmingham and the region have a proven track record in hosting major sporting events, so we are well positioned to deliver a Games to remember.
“The Games will provide us with an opportunity not only to show our sporting strength, but also our historic links to the Commonwealth. It will also allow us to showcase the richness of our cultural heritage, and will go big with our arts and culture offer. It will further enhance regional tourism and support our growing economy.”