Raging Bull to roar back into Birmingham
The Leader of Birmingham City Council, Councillor Ian Ward, responds to the news the Commonwealth Games Bull will have a new home in Birmingham New Street Station...
It is hard to believe that it has been more than six months since the Raging Bull stunned a global audience at the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The bull instantly found its way into the hearts of the people of Birmingham and beyond, and as Commonwealth Games fever gripped the city, the calls to find him a permanent home were loud and clear.
As I made clear at the time, I wanted to work with our city partners, and the Organising Committee, to find a permanent home for the bull, and I was delighted this week to help to break the news that he will be returning to Birmingham, finding a new home in the middle of New Street Station.
Over 800,000 people pass through New Street Station each week, meaning that the bull will quickly become one of the most-viewed attractions in our city. His thousands of admirers will be able to see him up-close on a daily basis, cementing his status as one of the iconic images of our city.
Whilst the bull was perhaps the unexpected star of the Commonwealth Games, I knew that the legacy of hosting the event would stretch far beyond the 11 days of world class sport that we enjoyed. That the bull will now have a permanent home in our city is fitting, as we are now beginning to see that the legacy of the Games will carry on for decades to come.
Birmingham delivered the best Games that this country has seen, and we delivered it on time and on budget. In fact, there was money left over which will now be spent in Birmingham on projects to further the legacy of the Games.
Alongside the sporting action, we enjoyed a six-month cultural programme, with events taking place right across the city. Now, the underspend from the Games will help to support an annual cultural festival, taking place the summer, that will bring arts and culture to every part of our city, helping communities to celebrate the legacy of Birmingham 2022.
As well as cultural activities, the underspend will help us to boost grassroots sports, getting people of all ages and abilities involved in sport. I’ve always said that sport is for everyone, and whilst most of us will never compete at the highest level, we should give every person the chance to take part in sport in their local area.
So whilst the people of Birmingham eagerly await the return of the bull to our city, we are pressing on with delivering the legacy of the Commonwealth Games so that we can look back in years to come and say that 2022 was the year that Birmingham changed for the better.
This blog was posted on 10 February 2023