Birmingham is launching a charm offensive to ensure the city becomes the home of a 'grand slam' global badminton tournament for years to come.

As permanent home to the Yonex All-England Open Badminton Championships, the city would have a platform to market itself to the Far East where the sport is hugely popular.

The Birmingham NIA has been home to the championships since 1994 and will host it up to 2014, but the sport's governing body, Badminton England, has opened up bidding to host the competition from 2015 onwards.

In Britain the sport has a relatively low profile, but the championships has a global audience of 340 million, with particularly high levels of support in China, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The city is thought to face strong competition in the bidding from London, which is hosting the Grand Prix Gold tournament at the Olympic Park, and Manchester, which is home to the English National championships.

Birmingham City Council's deputy leader Ian Ward, responsible for sport, said he has charged Marketing Birmingham with the job of putting on a good show next March to convince the organisers that Birmingham should be the home of badminton's premier UK competition.

He said: "It might barely make the back pages here, but badminton is front page news in the Far East.

"I can vouch first-hand from a trip I made there when I was cabinet member for leisure, sport and culture."

He explained that the sport is looking to improve on its global reach and status following a successful Olympics and is focusing attention on select tournaments.

"The sport is moving to a different level. The All England Open has become one of five major global competitions, similar to the tennis Grand Slams, and attracts massive attention.

"I want that attention to be on Birmingham, which is why we need to hang on to it."

He said that with a grand slam-style set-up the next venue could become a permanent one, like Wimbledon is for tennis or Augusta for golf.

Recently Birmingham City Council new Labour administration confirmed that it had withdrawn the subsidy for hosting party political conferences at the ICC.

The Conservative Party Conference last month received a s1.5 million discount from the city. Coun Ward believes this money, under Marketing Birmingham's 'subvention budget', might be better spent to keep events with global reach like the badminton championships.

He said the council is in regular contact with Badminton England and the International Badminton Federation and will be pulling out the stops to put on a good show next spring.

The All England Open Championships is the sport's oldest, dating back to 1899.

Before moving to the NIA in 1994 it had been staged at the Wembley Arena for 36 years.

But Badminton England has now invited bids from towns and cities to host the championships, as well as other national competitions, from 2015.

Chief executive Adrian Christy said: "This process is about looking across our events portfolio and providing fans in this country and worldwide the best possible experience of badminton. We also want to increase awareness of the exciting international events that take place in England and reach new fans to grow our sport.

"Badminton is a fantastic sport that can be played by men and women, boys and girls of all ages. Our sport has a major global following, particularly in Asia, and the All England Open Badminton Championships is one of the most prestigious annual badminton events in the world."

The world's 200 top players will be in Birmingham from March 5-10 next year for the championships, along with broadcasters from 16 countries reaching a television audience of 340 million.