Commonwealth Games bring in £870 million boost to UK economy

The golden summer of sport in the region has helped to have a positive impact on the national economy.

Sir Lenny Henry brings the Queen's Baton into Victoria Square. Events like the relay brought millions of people to Birmingham and the Black Country. Photo: Matt Keeble/Getty Images
Sir Lenny Henry brings the Queen's Baton into Victoria Square. Events like the relay brought millions of people to Birmingham and the Black Country. Photo: Matt Keeble/Getty Images

A new study has revealed that the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games contributed at least £870 million to the UK economy.

The independent interim evaluation report also found that the West Midlands economy received a significant boost, with over half the economic impact generated (£453.7 million) benefitting businesses and communities across the region.

The Games saw more than 1.5 million tickets sold for the biggest multi-sport event hosted in England in a decade, with 6,000 athletes and team officials from 72 Commonwealth nations and territories.

Since Birmingham was awarded the Games in 2017, the event has created roughly 15,410 years of employment in the UK, with this equating to more than 9,000 full time equivalent jobs in the summer.

Performers and spectators look on as fireworks are set off during the opening ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Alexander Stadium. Photo: Davies Davies/PA Wire.

Birmingham 2022 also delivered 5,188 weeks of apprenticeships, 2,000 work experience placements and training for 14,075 members of the Commonwealth Collective who contributed 1.25 million volunteering hours.

Sports minister Stuart Andrew said: “Birmingham 2022 was tremendously successful in boosting the local economy and bringing people together.

"This report shows that new jobs and investments are just the beginning of the story, with the Games paving the way for future events in the region.

“The Games put the West Midlands on the global stage, and provided the region with world-class facilities. Thanks to Birmingham 2022, the city now has the industry know-how and venues to host the European Athletics Championships in 2026

“Diversity and inclusion was at the heart of the ‘Friendly Games’, with the first fully integrated pride programme, more medals for women than men and the biggest para-sport programme in Commonwealth Games history.”

Sir John Crabtree, outgoing chair of Birmingham 2022, said: “One of the key parts of our Birmingham 2022 mission was to help the region to grow and succeed, an ambition which took on even greater significance following the impact of the global pandemic.

"This report, which outlines a beneficial boost for the West Midlands economy, is evidence that the Games successfully achieved this aim, and this is further demonstrated by the figures for employment, with approximately 7,440 net full-time equivalent jobs supported at the peak of the Games.

“It has been an incredible honour to lead the organisation of such an important event for the West Midlands.

"As the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee nears the end of its journey, we would like to thank all of our partners for their support and contributions which helped to make the Games so successful and secured such a sizeable economic impact for the host city and region.”

The Raging Bull was a popular part of the Games, with people coming from all over to see it. Photo: Tim Goode/PA Wire.

Paul Blanchard, CEO, Commonwealth Games England said: “It’s fantastic to see the impact Birmingham 2022 has had on the West Midlands and the nation.

"We saw the excitement the Games brought to the athletes with some hugely memorable moments and the millions of spectators who engaged.

"Now, to see the lasting impact is great, particularly the development into sport facilities and equipment in the region to inspire the next generation of English talent.”

The Games was delivered within a budget of £778 million and the UK government has announced that it will invest over £60 million of unspent contingency funding from this core budget in the West Midlands to further enhance the legacy of the Games.

The UK government is working with local authorities to ensure the funding is invested in increasing access to sport and culture, boosting the region’s expertise in hosting major events and driving inward investment and tourism.

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