2022 Commonwealth Games to boost West Midlands economy by £1.5 billion
The West Midlands will receive a £1.5 billion boost from the Commonwealth Games, according to experts.
A surge in visitor numbers and an increase in international trade will deliver the windfall for the region in the first year after the competition, respected former Treasury economist Chris Walker said.
The West Midlands is also expected to benefit to the tune of £500m from construction work before the 2022 competition, including a state-of-the-art aquatics centre in Smethwick which will host swimming and diving events. The Alexandra Stadium will also be revamped.
The competition has been described as a 'golden opportunity' for the region.
Mayor Andy Street said: "“It is vital that the Commonwealth Games leaves a legacy for the region
“We are determined that we do this through the transport investments we are developing, the housing that will replace the athlete’s village and the sports facilities.
“But perhaps more enduring will be the reputational legacy of showcasing our region to the world, demonstrating a strong, diverse and confident post-Brexit region.”
Dennis Hone, group board member for Mace, who conducted the research, and former chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority, said: “The 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham is a golden opportunity to use global sport and infrastructure investment to deliver transformational change, a positive lasting legacy and a boost to UK exports to the fast-growing countries of the Commonwealth.
“If we get it right, the 2022 Commonwealth Games will be so much more than just sport – they can represent a landmark period of change and growth for an entire region and help boost the UK’s global trade post-Brexit.”
Simon Dale, director for the Midlands at Mace, said: “The Commonwealth Games will be the largest event to ever be held in the West Midlands and the largest event to be held in Britain after our departure from the European Union. Birmingham City Council leader Ian Ward has quite rightly set the city the lofty ambition of hosting the best Commonwealth Games ever.
“Our research shows that the West Midlands should benefit from a £1.5bn ‘Games Gift’ in the first year, with further benefits each year beyond, as a legacy from the Games."