Commonwealth Games will boost jobs and investment in Birmingham – public poll
Birmingham residents overwhelmingly back the Commonwealth Games coming to the city in 2022, according to a new survey.
The findings come after the city took a starring role in the spectacular 2018 Commonwealth Games Handover ceremony, showcasing its youth culture and diverse arts to a global audience of more than a billion television viewers.
More than 350 people living in Birmingham and the wider region share their support for the 2022 Games in the survey. A total of 82% of respondents believe being the next host city is “positive and will boost jobs and investment in the city.”
The same number also think host city status will improve Birmingham’s national and international reputation and seven out of 10 respondents are already excited about the buzz sparked by the Games – with four years still to go.
The snapshot of Birmingham attitudes was captured by Birmingham City Council and Culture Central at the “Homecoming” party that took place in Victoria Square on Saturday (April 21).
The city’s positive reaction towards the Games was evident at the “Homecoming” event, which was attended by Team England champions including Birmingham-born gold medal-winning gymnast Dominick Cunningham and Coventry-based gold medal-winning netballers
Natalie Haythornthwaite and Jade Clarke.
The athletes delighted party-goers by mingling with the crowds and showcasing their medals. Cunningham even wowed with an impromptu glimpse of his gold medal skills when he somersaulted on stage alongside compere and Blue Peter presenter, Radzi Chinyanganya. The sports stars were treated to a confetti moment when they joined Bollywood dancers from Birmingham-based dance group Shiamak Company on-stage.
Birmingham may only be at the beginning of the journey to 2022, but the city is already embracing the sporting spirit. A quarter of those surveyed took part in at least one of the “have-a-go” sessions that allowed visitors to try out 17 sports that will feature in the Birmingham Games.
One partygoer said they were looking forward to the Games as it will “give people a chance to see Birmingham” and will help “put us on the map”.
The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Anne Underwood, said: “It’s incredibly encouraging to see that the people of Birmingham are excited about the next Commonwealth Games being held here. We’re already reaping the rewards, with a great atmosphere and more people getting active. It’s going to be a truly fantastic journey for the city over the next few years.”
Mike Chamberlain, Chief Executive of Sport Birmingham, said: “At the ‘Homecoming’ party we saw so many people, of all ages, taking on sports sessions, and it was wonderful to see just how many were inspired by Team England’s presence and achievements in the Gold Coast. The 2022 Games will be here before we know it and the sporting spirit in the city will only get stronger.”
Monique Deletant, deputy CEO of Culture Central, said: “The people of Birmingham have really embraced this year’s Commonwealth Games and the sense of anticipation in the city ahead of ‘our turn’ is definitely building. Saturday’s event showcased the diverse, talented artists from the city and we’re so pleased that Team England got to experience a taste of our thriving cultural scene. It was brilliant to see so many people joining in the celebrations. It marks the beginning of a very exciting journey.”
Culture Central is the organisation behind the successful Commonwealth Games Handover and Birmingham Weekender 2017.
About Birmingham 2022: The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will demonstrate the very best of Global Britain to the world, showcasing the region’s strengths of: being connected and accessible; youth and inclusivity; and a focus on regeneration and rejuvenation. Birmingham is perfectly positioned to attract people to the Games and to ensure that the benefits of hosting extend from the city and region, to the UK and the Commonwealth.
Birmingham 2022 has the full support of the UK Government, Commonwealth Games England, and the wider Midlands region, including: Birmingham City Council; three regional local enterprise partnerships – Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP; Black Country LEP; Coventry and Warwickshire LEP; the West Midlands Combined Authority and the Mayor of West Midlands, Andy Street; the city’s universities; and the Midlands Engine. In addition, Birmingham 2022 is supported by The Birmingham Commonwealth Association.
About Culture Central: Culture Central is the collective voice and development organisation for culture in the Birmingham City region. Culture Central has been created by a founding group of cultural organisations with the purpose of placing culture and creativity at the centre of economic and social future of the region. Dance Hub Birmingham (DHB) is an initiative of Culture Central, working to amplify and further develop the region’s position as an international centre of excellence for dance.
Culture Central work closely with a growing range of anchor institutions including universities and the business sector alongside an increasingly wide group of cultural and creative organisations to deliver exceptional cultural projects.
Culture Central members include: Ampersand Projects; Aston University; Birmingham Contemporary Music Group; Birmingham City University; Birmingham Hippodrome; Birmingham Museums Trust; Birmingham Opera Company; Birmingham Repertory Theatre; Birmingham Royal Ballet; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Culture Card; DanceXchange; Ex Cathedra; Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce; Ikon; mac Birmingham; NEC Group; New Alexandra Theatre; Sampad South Asian Arts; Stan’s Café; Town Hall Symphony Hall; Open Theatre Company; University of Birmingham; The Old Rep.
Culture Central: www.culturecentral.co.uk
About Sport Birmingham: Sport Birmingham is here to make a positive difference to people’s lives through sport and physical activity. It is the city’s strategic sports partnership, working as a leading charity to join up policy and investment with delivery partners who bring inclusive and accessible sport and physical activity opportunity to communities. It provides leadership and support through insight, knowledge and expertise to anyone in Birmingham working towards their vision of a more active city and a healthier place to live, learn, work and play.
Sport Birmingham’s vision is that, through sport and physical activity, individuals will lead more active, healthier, happier, longer and more successful lives; and communities will be stronger, more inclusive, more integrated and more resilient. This reflects the ethos of the Commonwealth Games movement, which provides a hugely significant opportunity which the partnership is very excited about.
Sport Birmingham: www.sportbirmingham.org
About Commonwealth Games England: Commonwealth Games England (CGE) leads and manages the participation of Team England at the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games. We are affiliated to the Commonwealth Games Federation and work closely with the various sports’ National Governing Bodies (NGBs), our funding partner Sport England, commercial sponsors and Organising Committees. Our purpose is to help prepare and support athletes and their sports to achieve success at Games-time. Team England is the nation’s most inclusive and diverse team, featuring athletes and para athletes from all over the country and an equal gender split across the team. Team England is also one of the nation’s most successful teams.