The Papal visit will be worth an estimated £12.5 million to the Birmingham economy, according to the city councillor co-ordinating event.
And it has emerged that the Pontiff will travel in his world-famous Popemobile through the crowds gathered for his service at Cofton Park on September 19.
City leaders are also in talks with the Catholic Church about a further journey in the glass car, perhaps outside the Park’s security fence to enable more people see him.
Coun Alan Rudge (Con, Sutton Vesey), who is responsible for the city council’s Papal visit arrangements, revealed the Popemobile plans for Birmingham.
He said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the city, a momentous event.
“And aside from the significance of his visit, there will be an economic gain to the city of about £12.5 million. This is good for the city.”
The estimated income figure comes after the council announced that just £80,000 of local taxpayers’ money was being spent on “direct costs” associated with the visit – such as public notices and the cordon. There are no additional staffing costs, he said.
And Coun Rudge announced that Pope Benedict XVI will enjoy a brief ride in Popemobile as he arrives at his Cofton Park service.
Coun Rudge said: “It will be a short journey, the vehicle does not travel very fast. We are hopeful there may be a further trip and are talking about it.
“But it all has to be fitted into a very tight schedule.”
The Popemobile, as we now know it, was designed for Pope John Paul II’s visit to England in 1982. He had previously used open topped cars but a failed assassination attempt in 1981 led to an upgrade in security.
And two new vehicles, in which the Pontiff was surrounded by bulletproof glass, were created by Range Rover and Leyland for his tour of England and Scotland.