Glamping at Sandwell Valley among events planned for Commonwealth Games boost
A glamping camp site and fanzone are among the plans to attract tourists to watch the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Sandwell.
Sandwell is the home of the Games' aquatics centre which is currently being built on the Londonderry Playing Fields in Smethwick.
But now councillors are working on ways to bring in visitors to stay in the borough during the multi-sport event in two years time.
Sandwell Valley could host a glamping camp site - featuring more luxurious facilities - for people to stay during the Games.
And officials are also looking at whether a fanzone where people could congregate to watch the action unfold.
Another of the plans could see an urban bike park created.
Sandwell Council has employed a specialist consultant to look at ways of maximising opportunities brought by the games.
The council want to boost Sandwell Valley to attract more events in a 10 year plan. It is hosting the MADE music festival this summer.
It hosted the Let's Rock 80s event in 2016.
Sandwell Council cabinet member, Councillor Danny Millard, said: “Our ambition is to strengthen Sandwell Valley and give it an identity as a destination gateway.
"It is distinctive and local and we are going to attract people regionally and nationally.
“We recently appointed a specialist country park consultant to support the development of business scoping the objective of establishing a new future business model for sustainable growth.
“Part of this plan is already focused on contributing to the Commonwealth Games with the potential of providing an urban bike park, a fanzone area and upgrading existing visitor facilities.
“Extra things like more parking and catering concessions and they are looking at camping and glamping.”
The possibility of a luxury outdoor accommodation with the benefit of facilities normally found in a high five star hotel came as the cabinet announced its “Big Plans for a Great Place for the People of Sandwell” at a meeting of the cabinet.
A major element of the plan is spending more of the council’s £200 million plus budget in the borough to encourage jobs and wealth creation.
Council leader, Councillor Yvonne Davis, added: “We want to create opportunities to put Sandwell on the map, creating a borough where people are proud of their local area, have better paid jobs and opportunities, supported by increased skills for our workforce and more opportunities for young people.”