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Birmingham's bid to make history by hosting 2022 Commonwealth Games

Confirmation of bid plans after Government announces it will support selected UK city

Birmingham is set to bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games after the Government called for UK cities to step forward.

The bidding committee decision is set to be rubber stamped by the City Council’s cabinet after a feasibility study showed Brum could make a success of the Games.

It comes as the Government called for UK cities to come forward with bids - saying it would be a showcase for a ‘Global Britain’.

Birmingham had initially been preparing a 2026 bid, but now Durban in South Africa had pulled out of hosting in 2022 - leaving an opening.

Sir Keith Mills, Alan Pascoe and Debbie Jevans advising Birmingham on the Commonwealth Games bid

Cllr Ian Ward, chairman of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bid Company, said: “We now have confirmation from our consultants that a Birmingham bid for the Commonwealth Games would have a very strong chance of success.

“Given today’s announcement that the Government want to hear from cities interested in hosting the 2022 Games, we are making it clear we have an interest in being considered for the privilege.

“The feasibility study, if endorsed by the city council as hoped, puts us in prime position to do just that.”

Birmingham could face UK competition from Liverpool, Manchester and London and it is thought cities in Canada, Australia and Malaysia are also lining up bids.

But Birmingham is thought to have a head start on rivals with venues like Villa Park, Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Alexander Stadium as well as the ICC, Barclaycard Arena and the NEC already in place. There is too little time to plan and build major new venues.

Villa Park

The details of the feasibility study, carried out by masterminds of the London 2012 Olympics, will be released in the next few weeks before the final decision goes to the council’s cabinet.

Keith Stokes-Smith, Chairman of the Birmingham Commonwealth Association, said: "As unfortunate this news is for Durban, it is an opportunity not to be missed for Birmingham which had already been working up plans to bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games

"Birmingham has been re-positioning its image and profile for some time now as a global player and is a natural choice to stage the games given its diversity, facilities and infrastructure.

"It is inevitable post Brexit that the Birmingham, Greater Birmingham and indeed the Midlands will find itself engaging with Commonwealth nations much much more particularly in the area of trade.

"That coupled with the economic benefits the games will bring to the area make Birmingham's bid very attractive. The Birmingham Commonwealth Association look forward to working with all concerned to ensure the games come our way and that they are a great success."

The announcement comes on the day the Government call for cities to come forward.

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said: “Hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2022 could give us an opportunity to step up and show the very best of Global Britain as an outward-looking nation that is confident on the world stage.

“So it’s only right that we look into the potential for hosting one of the world’s biggest sporting events on home soil."

Karen Bradley

She added: “Britain has a wealth of expertise in staging major sports events, inspiring people to get involved in sport and helping to grow our economy. The British people embrace these events and always give a warm welcome to the world. I would urge cities to consider if they have the desire and capability to stage the Games in 2022 as they could bring benefits not just to their city but across the country.”

The government will consider multi-city proposals, as well as applications from individual cities which will be assessed to ensure they offer value for money. The process will end later in the year when the government will decide if the UK will put forward a formal bid.

The Commonwealth Games Federation is due to decide where the 2022 Games will be staged later this year.

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