Experts have backed a bid to bring the 2022 Commonwealth Games to the West Midlands – on the same day the Government said it was ready to work with cities interested in hosting the event.
Birmingham's proposals to host the Games in 2022 was today endorsed by the Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bid Company.
The company reviewed a feasibility study produced by consultants Origin and decided it would be in the best interests of Birmingham and the wider region to put forward a proposal to stage the event, last staged in England in 2002.
The city had initially been preparing a study for the 2026 Games, but the plans were brought forward following the news Durban would no longer be staging the 2022 Games as planned in South Africa.
Liverpool, London and Manchester have also expressed interested in staging the event.
Bosses said exact details of the Birmingham feasibility study need to remain confidential at this stage while the report goes through council processes.
West Midlands Mayor Conservative candidate Andy Street said: “I have long been a supporter of Birmingham’s bid for the Commonwealth Games in 2026. However, the opportunity presented for the 2022 games means we should step up our efforts.
“I truly believe the bid should be for the entire West Midlands, bringing everybody together behind a cause.
“What could be a better global showcase for our resurgent region than hosting the Commonwealth Games?
“If elected as Mayor on May 4 I will make it an immediate priority to get everyone in the region behind Birmingham City Council’s bid so that we can convince Government that they should support us.
“You can be absolutely sure that other cities will be quick to act. We need to make sure our voice is clear.”
Birmingham City Council’s deputy leader Ian Ward said: “We now have confirmation from our consultants that a Birmingham bid for the Commonwealth Games would have a very strong chance of success.
“Given the announcement that the Government want to hear from cities interested in hosting the 2022 Games, we are making it clear we have an interest in being considered for the privilege.
“The feasibility study, if endorsed by the city council as hoped, puts us in prime position to do just that.”
The Commonwealth Games Federation will study the proposals by all those cities which express formal expressions of interest.
Sydney, Melbourne, Toronto and Kuala Lumpur are among the other cities believed to be considering a bid to stage the event.Subscribe to our Newsletter