Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games ‘a catalyst for city’s coronavirus recovery’

The Chief Executive of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has described the global event as the ‘catalyst’ for the city’s recovery from coronavirus.

Ian Reid said the showpiece event would provide up to 30,000 jobs and bring millions in investment along with legacy schemes across the West Midlands.

Speaking to the BBC’s Politics Show, Mr Reid said the Commonwealth Games provides a ‘real opportunity’ for the region.

“Of course we’re aware it’s a significant public investment,” he said, of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, estimated to cost £800 million.

“However, I think it’s a real opportunity for the region. If you talk to other politicians or other leaders across the country, they’re quite jealous of some of the really big projects that are in the West Midlands right now,” he said, citing HS2 and Coventry City of Culture alongside the Games.

“So we very much see the Games as being a catalyst for that post-pandemic recovery,” he added.

Mr Reid said the Games were on time and on budget, adding that the business was ‘in a really good place’.

As well as the thousands of job opportunities, Mr Reid said money was being invested in the region’s culture. The Games have been awarded £6 million towards a cultural festival.

The money has been jointly awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England.

The festival will run from March to September 2022, around the city’s hosting of the sports event.

It will provide funding for more than 200 creative projects and see artists commissioned to create works showcasing the area’s diversity.

Pictured: A digital impression of the redeveloped Alexander Stadium. Courtesy Birmingham City Council