Around £60 million of underspend from the Commonwealth Games budget to be spent on the region

Sport and culture in the region is set to benefit from a large sum of funding from the Commonwealth Games funds.

Funding from the underspend of the Commonwealth Games is set to be invested into the region
Funding from the underspend of the Commonwealth Games is set to be invested into the region

Around £60 million of underspend from the Birmingham 2022 budget in the West Midlands will be spent to enhance the legacy of the Commonwealth Games hosted earlier this year.

The fund will aim to increase access to sport and culture, boost the West Midlands’s reputation as a world-class host for major events and drive inward investment and tourism.

Working closely with the Mayor for the West Midlands, Andy Street, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will award underspend funding to growth projects that will deliver for the local community quickly and efficiently.

The Commonwealth Games was backed by £778 million of public funding, providing the West Midlands with a refurbished athletics stadium in Perry Barr and a brand-new aquatics centre in Smethwick.

Alongside these world-class venues, the £60 million investment will support the region’s ambition to host future major events.

In her speech to the Party Conference, DCMS Secretary Michelle Donelan said: “The world watched in awe as the Commonwealth Games took the nation by storm, exhibiting the very best of British talent and culture.

“What’s more, this Conservative Government didn’t just deliver the games on budget, it delivered it under budget – over 60 million under in fact.

“And today, I am delighted to announce that we are going to invest that money right back into the West Midlands, investing in pro-growth legacy projects for local people and working with our fantastic Conservative Mayor Andy Street to deliver them.

“So while Labour try to choke growth in the West Midlands by backing crippling rail strikes, we are getting on the with the job of injecting investment and producing growth not just here but around the country.”

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “After this Summer’s spectacular Commonwealth Games was delivered on time and under budget, it’s brilliant that the Government has this afternoon agreed that the underspend will be retained and spent in our region.

“That’s tens of millions we will be able to invest further in the region and in the legacy from the Games - driving growth, investment and community impact in the months and years ahead.

“I’m delighted the Government has once again put its faith in the West Midlands and backed us to deliver.”

Councillor Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “I am pleased the unspent money allocated to deliver the biggest and best event staged in Birmingham’s history will be retained in the city and wider region to strengthen the Games’ legacy. It is only fair that our robust financial management is recognised in this way.

“Despite a shortened delivery timescale and the COVID-19 pandemic, the council and other Games Partners demonstrated strong financial governance and still put on an unforgettable show that positively promoted the city on the global stage, kickstarting a Golden Decade of opportunity for the people and businesses of Birmingham.

“Earlier this year, we set out a clear plan for how we will ensure the Proud Host City can maximise the benefits of staging the Games through the use of any underspend.

"As quarter-funders of the Games’ core budget, it is only right we get our fair share to translate those ambitions into reality.

“The funding will help us stage an annual international festival, bid for other major events that will further boost our economy, develop plans for a new museum of science and industry, launch a long-term study tracking the impact of the Games on local people and offer support to grassroots sporting and cultural organisations.”

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