Birmingham 2022: A golden opportunity

2 min read

New research from Mace has revealed that hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games will provide an economic boost of at least £1.5bn in the first year for the West Midlands economy, with further benefits each year beyond. 

The research, conducted by former Treasury and MHCLG senior economist Chris Walker, illustrates that the region should see a minimum £1.5bn “Games Gift” in the first year from Birmingham hosting the Games through increased visitor figures to the region and by boosting international trade.

In addition, the West Midlands is also estimated to see a one-off economic benefit of £500m from construction work taking place across the region before hosting the Games including:

- a new £60m aquatics centre in Sandwell

- the £70m transformation of the Alexander Stadium

- the creation of the £20m athletes’ village which will later be converted into more than 1,000 new homes for Perry Barr

- upgrades to key transport infrastructure including Perry Barr station, University station and three Sprint rapid transit corridors

When combined the £2bn economic boost will add an additional 1.3% to the West Midland’s annual Gross Value Added (GVA) – £126bn today and likely around £150bn in 2022 - which calculates the total value of goods and services produced in an area.

The report, entitled “A golden opportunity”, highlights how governments across the world are placing greater importance on hosting sporting events as a platform for increasing trade and tourism. 

The Commonwealth Games, the world’s second-largest international competition by number of countries and athletes participating, will put both Birmingham and the West Midlands in front of an estimated cumulative global audience of more than 1.5 billion people.

Commenting on the report, Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said:

“It is vital that the Commonwealth Games leaves a legacy for the region. 

“We are determined that we do this through the transport investments we are developing, the housing that will replace the athlete’s village and the sports facilities. 

“But perhaps more enduring will be the reputational legacy of showcasing our region to the world, demonstrating a strong, diverse and confident post-Brexit region.”

To find out more, download Mace's latest report. 

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