Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games costs rise to £218 million

The costs of hosting the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022 are now expected to be more than £218 million, figures show.

Artists impression of Sandwell Aquatics Centre. Photo: Sandwell Council
Artists impression of Sandwell Aquatics Centre. Photo: Sandwell Council

Birmingham City Council released games budget figures following a Freedom of Information Request (FOI). The costs include that of Sandwell Aquatics Centre.

The figures show the council’s 'direct contribution' to the games remain unchanged at £184m, representing around 25 per cent of the total games costs.

But further costs under the headings programme team, legacy development and enhanced city operations add more than £34m to the wider planned spending.

In the FOI response, Birmingham City Council states: "The council will incur further costs more widely associated with Birmingham’s role as Host City.

"These are not direct games costs and include: The costs associated with co-ordinating the council’s games-related activities and funding contributions (the programme team costs) – budgeted at £11.5m between 2020/21 and the games time.

"A programme of investment in activities to encourage community engagement and participation in the games to help realise the long-term benefits of hosting the event such as improved civic pride and community cohesion (legacy development) – budgeted at £6m."

Cultural festival

This funding is set for approval from the council’s cabinet on Tuesday, October 13, and includes 10 small grants of between £10,000 and £20,000 delivered to Birmingham-based groups to create artistic projects across the city.

The games organising committee will also be delivering a six-month cultural festival across Birmingham and the West Midlands from March to September 2022.

The council added in the FOI response: "Additional activities to supplement ‘business as usual’ work in and around the city and games venues as a result of increased visitor numbers, including enhanced cleaning and wayfinding activities (enhanced city operations) – budgeted at £15m."

Capital expenditure costs of the games already announced are due to include spending on Alexander Stadium, Sandwell Aquatics Centre and other costs including the public realm and organising committee costs.

Separately to the games costs is the Perry Barr regeneration works, expected to cost £500m in the run up to the games.

The development of the Athletes’ Village complex will now not be ready in time for the games themselves, it was announced over the summer.

A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said: “We are all seeing the impact of Covid-19 on all aspects of our daily lives.

“Looking to the future, the Commonwealth Games will provide a major opportunity for Birmingham to position itself within the world, and particularly with the Commonwealth.

“The importance of the event and the opportunities it provides for the city and wider region, from an economic and social perspective, are now more significant than ever.”

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