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Commonwealth Games Federation selects Birmingham as Host City Partner of the 2022 Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) today announced that it has selected Birmingham, England as the host city partner of the XXII Commonwealth Games in 2022.

At a special Media Conference staged at the Arena Academy school in Birmingham, CGF President Louise Martin CBE applauded the city’s ambitious and innovative vision to engage and benefit its local community, showcase the best of global Britain and warmly welcome and inspire athletes and fans from right across the Commonwealth.

Birmingham 2022, which is expected to take place from 27 July – 7 August 2022, marks 20 years since Manchester 2002, the last time the Games were held in England.

CGF President Louise Martin CBE said: “We warmly congratulate Birmingham and England on today’s announcement – it is a defining moment for this truly Commonwealth city. With its rich history, cultural diversity, youthful dynamism and ambitious spirit, Birmingham embodies all that we cherish about the Commonwealth, and so the Commonwealth Sports Movement looks forward to collaborating with all the Games partners to showcase the city’s humanity and pride to a global audience over the coming months and years.

“The vast majority of the Games venues are in place, and with extensive experience in the UK of hosting successful major events – including Manchester 2002, London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 – the CGF looks forward to a truly spectacular Games that delivers not only for the 2.4 billion citizens across the Commonwealth but the wider world, too. Today is a fantastic day for Birmingham, global Britain and our resurgent Commonwealth Sports Movement.”

The CGF President also thanked Canada, Malaysia and Australia for the continued interest expressed in hosting a future Commonwealth Games, and confirmed that the Commonwealth Games Associations (CGAs) in these countries have signalled their potential hosting interest in either 2026 or 2030.

The final, complete Birmingham 2022 bid documentation was submitted by Commonwealth Games England (CGE), the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on behalf of the UK Government, and Birmingham City Council, supported by the West Midlands Combined Authority. The foundations for the Games have now been laid, with the official handover to Birmingham set to take place at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony on April 15 next year.

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Karen Bradley said: “Birmingham will put on a fantastic Commonwealth Games in 2022 and I am delighted that the Commonwealth Games Federation has awarded us the right to host what will be a sporting spectacular. The Games will also give us a chance to show the best of Britain to the world, give great opportunities to the people and businesses of the West Midlands and beyond while inspiring many to get involved in sport. I look forward to working with the Commonwealth Games Federation, Commonwealth Games England and Birmingham City Council over the coming years as we prepare for 2022.”

Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said: “The UK has a brilliant track record for putting on the biggest sport events in the world and it is great news that Birmingham has been selected to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. I am sure that we will put on an event that will make the country proud, leave a strong sporting legacy and strengthen relationships with our friends across the Commonwealth.”

Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council and Chair of the Bid Team, said: “This is a wonderful way to end the year and celebrate the festive season – with an early Christmas present for the city! At the start of 2017 we were looking into the feasibility of hosting the Games in 2026, but when 2022 became a possibility in April, we made the decision to back ourselves even though we knew that we would need to do a lot of work in a short time frame. That work and belief has been rewarded.

“This has been a team effort and the Bid Team would like to thank everyone who has contributed. We have had excellent support from residents and businesses in the city; our regional partners including Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, and the West Midlands Combined Authority, the Midlands Engine, Local Enterprise Partnerships, the NEC Group, and the University of Birmingham; as well as venues, sport and cultural organisations across the Midlands. We have also enjoyed a close working relationship with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Commonwealth Games Federation and Commonwealth Games England.

“The hard work begins now and we all have just four-and-a-half years to deliver an unforgettable Games that will shape the future of our city, our region and our people. Thank you for backing Birmingham’s bid.”

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “The success of this bid has depended entirely on the whole of the West Midlands region getting behind it and recognising the benefits it will bring. The Games will provide the opportunity to not only see world-class sport but bring economic and social benefits.

“Above all, this will be our opportunity, along with the Coventry City of Culture the year prior to the Games, to showcase a resurgent, diverse and confident West Midlands to the world.”

Ian Metcalfe, Chair of Commonwealth Games England, added: “I am delighted that the Commonwealth Games Federation has awarded the 2022 Games to England and to Birmingham. In particular I am excited for all the Team England athletes who will have the immense privilege of competing at a home Games, backed by many thousands of proud England fans.

“England has a proud tradition of welcoming the world to our country and creating fantastic sports events, culture and the warmest of welcomes for the entire Commonwealth movement. We cannot wait to welcome the Commonwealth once again in 2022.

“Being awarded the Games is clearly just the start of a very long journey. We look forward to partnering with the Commonwealth Games Federation, Birmingham and the wider West Midlands region to deliver the best Commonwealth Games that anyone can remember.”

Today’s announcement by the CGF follows the Gold Coast 2018 Coordination Commission taking place earlier this month in Australia. Gold Coast 2018 organisers have committed to share all their experience and advice with Birmingham, passing on the baton and putting the city in the strongest position to deliver an inspiring, impactful and successful Games.

The Birmingham 2022 Organising Committee will also be the first to benefit from the new CGF Partnerships delivery model – as the CGF takes an increasingly active and direct role in the delivery of the Games through the creation of an integrated delivery team, working in close partnership with the host city and CGA. This will help to deliver the Games more efficiently and economically, and create a strong legacy for future hosts.

Gold Coast 2018 Chairman, Peter Beattie AC said: “The Games in Glasgow in 2014 set the benchmark very high and delivered an exceptional experience for athletes and spectators and I am confident that Gold Coast 2018 will be another outstanding Games.

“There have been many lessons learned on the journey towards 2018 with more to come as we move into Games time.

“We are very keen to transfer as much of our knowledge as possible to enable the new host city to develop a robust Games business plan early in the establishment of the organising committee so they can literally hit the ground running when we hand over the flag at the GC2018 Closing Ceremony.”

Marathon effort from a city that knows how to stage big events

Anyone doubting the power of major sporting events should have been in Birmingham yesterday as thousands of runners took to the city streets for our first marathon in over 30 years.

In total 22,000 people Birmingham International Marathon and half marathon and we can be proud of every single one of them; from Harborne’s Chris Ashford, who won the marathon in just over two and a half hours, through to the fun runners completing their first ever half marathon.

Of course, the thousands of spectators lining the route played their part – just as I know people across this city will take a starring role if we host the Commonwealth Games in 2022.

Coming just three weeks after the inaugural Velo Birmingham, yesterday’s events once again displayed Birmingham’s ability to stage major sporting events.

Our city has a proud track record of delivering large international sporting events, including: ICC Champions Trophy and The Ashes at Edgbaston; Rugby World Cup fixtures at Villa Park; Diamond League athletics at Alexander Stadium; Aegon Classic tennis at Edgbaston Priory; Yonex All England Open Badminton and the UCI BMX Championships.

Yesterday’s atmosphere was sensational, underlining why athletes and sports stars love coming to Birmingham – they are guaranteed a warm welcome.

Legendary sprinter Usain Bolt summed it up when Jamaica trained in Birmingham ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games. The eight-time Olympic Champion said: “The Birmingham people, when we were at camp, were extremely great to us. There was a lot of love, and thank you guys – you guys helped us come out here and do our best.”

That’s why sports stars from across nineteen sports, including all Commonwealth Games sports announced as part of Birmingham’s bid, have thrown their weight behind our 2022 Commonwealth Games bid, including Mo Farah (Athletics), James Rodwell (Rugby 7s) and Lily Owsley (Hockey).

Sport has the power to unify people of all ages from all communities and backgrounds and I know the runners appreciated the support as they clocked up the miles.

It was a great day and I would like to thank everyone who played a part. The organisers, the fantastic army of volunteers, the runners and the passionate spectators. You helped to show Birmingham at its best – just as I know you will do if we get the nod for 2022.

Harborne’s Chris Ashford crosses the finishing line

Dealing with our challenges and looking to the future

Cllr Ian WardI’m proud to have been elected as the new leader of Birmingham City Council’s Labour group and Interim Leader of the city council.

As a Brummie born and bred, I grew up in the east of Birmingham in Tile Cross, I’m passionate about our city. We’ve done tremendous things in the past and we’ll go onto do great things in the future.

So I’m ambitious and optimistic for the future but also realistic enough to know that we face significant challenges – not least the bins dispute.

Along with setting a balanced budget and working with Birmingham Independent Improvement Panel, this is clearly one of the biggest challenges currently facing us and I won’t pretend this has been our finest hour. But we are where we are and it’s clear that we’ve got to resolve the dispute quickly.

The recent court case gives us a window of opportunity to do that, because the staff are now all back at work and we have the opportunity to sit down around the table and enter into talks.

I’ve been speaking to people at the top of the Labour Party, I’ve written to Jeremy Corbyn and I’ve discussed the issues with Howard Beckett of UNITE. We’ve also met with ACAS this week. That’s what will resolve this situation. We’ve had enough megaphone diplomacy. Enough has been said across the airwaves in recent months and we now need to get down to some quiet negotiation.

I won’t shirk the current challenges but Birmingham is an ambitious city and I make no apology for looking to the future.

Speaking of which, the Government today confirmed it is now backing Birmingham to be the UK’s official candidate city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The Birmingham bid team, the Government and Commonwealth Games England are now working together to finalise the formal bid submission to be delivered to the Commonwealth Games Federation tomorrow (30 September).

We have worked closely with the Commonwealth Games Delivery Unit set-up by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Treasury to create a compelling, compliant and value for money bid for Birmingham to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The support of the UK Government is a great endorsement of our bid and we are excited about finalising our submission and edging closer to the opportunity to bring the Games to Birmingham.

The support we have received from a range of public and private sector partners and from across the wider West Midlands region and beyond has been incredible and we thank everyone for backing Brum’s bid to get us this far.

This city is of a scale that we means can do things here that other places never have the opportunity to do. The Commonwealth Games is a good example of that. Because of the investment of previous generations and their foresight, we have the facilities in place that enable us to put together a bid and, hopefully, successfully host the Games in 2022.

Understandably some people will tell us to forget about the Games and concentrate on collecting the bins. I say understandably because there is anger and frustration over the dispute.

But I firmly believe we can do both and we must not let temporary problems distract us from our long term ambitions. Our city deserves better than that.