New national Birmingham 2022 Legacy Plan outlines series of Commonwealth Games ‘firsts’

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games organisers and its partners have released a national Legacy Plan, outlining a series of Games’ firsts that will leave a lasting, positive impact on jobs, skills, education, culture, physical activity and investment across the West Midlands and the UK.

It outlines how the Games’ £778m public investment into the West Midlands is benefiting people in the region and beyond, will continue to do so after the Games, and can provide a legacy blueprint for future host cities.

The plan is delivered in partnership between the Birmingham 2022 organising committee, the UK Government, Birmingham City Council, West Midlands Combined Authority, Commonwealth Games Federation, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, West Midlands Growth Company and Commonwealth Games England.

Series of ‘firsts’

The national plan includes aims to deliver several Commonwealth Games firsts, including:

  1. The first carbon-neutral Commonwealth Games
  2. The first time firms bidding for contracts must include a social value requirement
  3. The largest business and tourism programme of any Games to attract international visitors and investment to the region and the UK
  4. The first Games to fully integrate volunteers from all delivery partners into a united volunteer programme

The legacy plan is united by Birmingham 2022’s vision to be the “Games for Everyone”. Its objectives will be delivered against the Games’ five missions: to bring people together, improve health and wellbeing, help the region grow and succeed, be a catalyst for change and put the city on the map.

Bold vision

Across nine legacy programmes, the plan sets out a bold vision for how the Commonwealth Games can transform the region and unite communities across the West Midlands, the country and the Commonwealth with a message of hope and recovery following the pandemic. The plan includes:

  •   State-of-the-art legacy facilities at the Alexander Stadium and Sandwell Aquatics Centre for community use after the Games
  •   1,400 homes in the first phase of the Perry Barr Regeneration Scheme, with hundreds more in future phases;
  •   A procurement spend of around £350m to benefit businesses across the UK 
  •   35,000 jobs and opportunities available, with the first Commonwealth Jobs and Skills Academy offering a blueprint for reaching disadvantaged groups;
  •   200,000 hours of volunteer training for 12,500+ people, with a framework for developing skills and employability that could be replicated by future Games;
  •   “Commonwealth Active Communities”, a £4m Sport England fund to harness the power of the Games to support inactive people to become more active;
  •   A six-month, UK-wide Cultural Festival reaching 2.5 million people and prioritising underrepresented communities, offering and a blueprint to support the long term growth of the arts and culture sector;
  •   A £6m Commonwealth Games Community Fund from Birmingham City Council to help communities build pride, respect and cohesion by celebrating the Games their way;
  •   An ambition to directly engage with one million children and young people through a learning programme, with classroom resources on the Games offered to children across the UK and the Commonwealth;
  •   A £23.9m programme to highlight the wealth of opportunities available in the West Midlands, as well as promoting England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland , around the world, enhancing the country’s profile as a destination for tourism, trade and investment and supporting post-pandemic recovery. The Queen’s Baton Relay will travel across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland before arriving in England, with communities across the UK encouraged to take part
  •   The first Commonwealth Games to incorporate, measure and evidence the social value impacts and benefits of hosting the Games, offering a model to future host cities.

To mark the launch of the Legacy Plan, the Birmingham Poet Laureate and Birmingham 2022 Legacy and Benefits Committee member Casey Bailey has written a poem called “Dive In”, capturing the excitement and the opportunity that Birmingham 2022 bringing to the city, the region, the country and the Commonwealth.

The big event 

Birmingham 2022 is the biggest sport and cultural event in the UK since 2012, and the biggest ever held in the West Midlands. With 19 sports, including 8 para-sports, over 11 days of competition, the Games features the largest integrated para-sport programme at any Commonwealth Games, and will award more medals to women than men for the first time.

Research by the Commonwealth Games Federation in 2020 found significant economic benefits for Commonwealth Games host cities, including a £1bn uplift for Gold Coast in Australia in 2018. [1]

Commenting on the legacy plan, John Crabtree, Chairman of Birmingham 2022, said:

The Games is a truly unique moment to showcase our great city and region to the world. It will help us to draw all our neighbours together after the most challenging of times, with a sense of unity and purpose. The Games’ partners are embracing this once in a generation occasion with both hands to ensure the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games leads our recovery with a legacy of renewal, growth, hope and inspiration. We are determined that the connections, friendships, and opportunities that the Games will provide us with, will continue to flourish and thrive. As individuals, as neighbours, as communities and as a region we must seize the Games moment as our catalyst to a happier, healthier and more prosperous future.

Nicola Turner MBE – Director of Legacy (Cross-Partner), Birmingham 2022, said:

More than ever, it feels like 2022 will be an important year. From cleaner air to new jobs I’m seeing so many possibilities for how the Games can help the West Midlands become a fairer, greener, healthier and more prosperous place. Planning for the legacy starts now and, fuelled by the Games for everyone vision, we intend to make the most of it.

Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Sport and Tourism, said:

As the biggest sporting and cultural event ever held in the West Midlands, Birmingham 2022 is a global advert for the best of the UK that will leave a significant legacy. The games will create tens of thousands of jobs, volunteering opportunities and a boost to businesses in the West Midlands and beyond. It will help our country build back better from the pandemic and have a hugely positive impact on people’s lives.

CGF Vice President, Bruce Robertson, said:

We know that the Commonwealth Games has consistently provided an economic boost of over £1bn for previous host cities, along with an array of positive social and environmental benefits. It is now the turn of Birmingham and the West Midlands to create an amazing new legacy. 

I am particularly excited about Birmingham 2022 being the first carbon-neutral Games and the innovative approach to driving social value through procurement.  Birmingham 2022 will set a brilliant standard for all future editions of the Games. It will be for the people of the West Midlands to deliver a successful legacy from Birmingham 2022 and I have every confidence they will do just that, achieving something very special that benefit future generations.

Ian Metcalfe, Commonwealth Games England Chairman, said:

As a born and bred Brummie, I am delighted that Team England`s athletes, coaches and support staff will be central actors in the delivery of a successful Games Legacy. I firmly believe that a major part of the story to tell our children will be of an inspirational Team England, the most diverse English sporting team to compete anywhere in the world. A story not just of their medal winning feats, but of their unity and togetherness – a Team England which represents us all. What a legacy this will be.

To find out more about the Legacy Plan, visit

Source & imagery, courtesy: Birmingham 2022

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