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Birmingham in bid to host 2026 Commonwealth Games

Hosting the games could boost the region’s economy by an estimated £390 million and create thousands of jobs

Pictured: Birmingham

Birmingham has announced it is launching a bid to host the Commonwealth Games in 2026, in a move that could deliver £390 million in economic benefits and create thousands of jobs.

Those looking to bring the global sporting event to the city are calling on the entire region to get behind the bid, saying Birmingham has a history of hosting major sporting events of its kind.

Niels de Vos, CEO of UK Athletics and the director of the 2017 World Athletics Championships, said: “Birmingham has the perfect blend of existing facilities, fantastic location, supportive local authority and a sport mad local population - all the key ingredients essential to hosting a successful multi-sport games. 

“But perhaps what marks out the Birmingham bid is the unparalleled track record the city has in staging major sporting events - making it 'Games ready' in a way that I doubt any other bidder could claim to be.”  

The bid has the full support of Birmingham City Council, the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, the West Midlands Combined Authority and Midlands Engine, while the city also has much of the infrastructure already in place and an experienced events sector.

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.”

The 2014 games in Glasgow generated nearly £740 million worth of gross value added (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.

Other cities believed to be considering bidding include Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, Edmonton in Canada and Liverpool. Candidates must notify of their intention to bid by March 2018, with the winning city being unveiled in November 2019.

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 event.

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