Commonwealth Games could lead to 1,000 new jobs in 'once-in-a-generation opportunity'

Maximising the impact of the Commonwealth Games could lead to more than £650 million of investment in the UK and 1,000 new jobs, tourism chiefs say.

A revamped Alexander Stadium will host athletics at next year's Commonwealth Games. Photo: Birmingham City Council
A revamped Alexander Stadium will host athletics at next year's Commonwealth Games. Photo: Birmingham City Council

Leaders in the region say their £24m Business and Tourism Programme (BATP) will help boost perceptions of the region and UK through the event next year.

And it is hoped it will help secure more than £650m of investment, create £7m of additional export deals until 2027, and create 1,000 jobs – including 600 in the region.

Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Sport and Tourism, said: "Birmingham 2022 is a massive investment and tourism opportunity for the UK. This programme is designed to ensure that businesses in the West Midlands and across the country can seize this opportunity and capitalise on the profile of the Games and its audience of 1.5 billion people.

"We want to level-up the country and help the tourism sector bounce back swiftly in the aftermath of coronavirus. This campaign will enhance the global reputation of Birmingham, the West Midlands and the UK as a leading destination for trade, investment and tourism."

The programme runs until the end of 2023 and takes advantage of opportunities before, during and after the Commonwealth Games next year. Activity will include sales missions, showcase events, marketing campaigns and a media programme – with targeted meetings with investors taking place alongside cultural celebrations.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street: "The Commonwealth Games is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the West Midlands, and we absolutely have to make the most of it.

"Our Business and Tourism Programme is therefore absolutely vital, as it sets out how we plan to market our region to brand new audiences across the world, helping to attract more overseas investment.

"Generating this investment, alongside the tourism spend that will come from visitors, is key to our region’s recovery from the pandemic and will help to create much-needed local jobs for local people."

As the Commonwealth Games approaches, a business readiness campaign will help local hospitality businesses prepare the best welcome – and tourists will be able to use a digital visitor platform and pop-up information sites to enjoy the experiences on offer.

Graham Stuart, Minister for Exports, said: "The Commonwealth Games brings so many nations together and allows us to show that the UK is open for business, open to partnerships and ready to act as an independent, global trading hub to boost the economic prospects of Commonwealth partners.

A revamped Alexander Stadium will host athletics at next year's Commonwealth Games. Photo: Birmingham City Council

“Birmingham 2022 will boost exports, attract inward investment and give both the Midlands and the rest of the UK the shot in the arm required to recover from the pandemic and create more and better paying jobs over the years to come.”

And after the event, the focus will be on supporting businesses looking to locate in the region, confirming export contracts and securing capital investment to cement the Games' economic legacy.

Tourists will be encouraged to visit again through targeted marketing activity, while bids to host more sports tournaments and major events will capitalise on the exposure from the major event.

Councillor Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: "The Commonwealth Games are much more than 11 days of great sporting action and this programme will come as a timely post-pandemic boost for all sectors of our economy.

“Birmingham is a warm, welcoming city with a great visitor offer and a reputation for staging world-class sporting and cultural events. We have so much to offer the world and, through this programme, we have a fantastic platform to showcase the talents of the people of Birmingham and show off our city to a global audience."

Funding for the BATP comes from central and local Government and it comprises £21.3 million announced in the Spring Budget last year, and a £2.6 million investment confirmed by the West Midlands Combined Authority in June last year. There will be opportunities for private sector sponsorship of the programme.

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