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The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has proven to be a financial boon for the UK, contributing nearly £1.2 billion to the economy, according to a new evaluation released today.

Published jointly by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and The Rt Hon Stuart Andrew MP, the report highlights the significant economic impact of the Games. It reveals that almost half of this economic windfall was felt in the West Midlands region alone.

Key findings from the report include:

The Games added £79.5 million in social value, encompassing community benefits and improvements in the well-being and earnings of volunteers and participants.

The event generated 22,380 full-time equivalent years of employment.

Held from 28 July to 8 August 2022, the Games welcomed 6,600 athletes and team officials from 72 Commonwealth nations and territories.

Notably, it was the largest multi-sport event held in England since London 2012, breaking ticket sales records for a Commonwealth Games.

Moreover, the Games were delivered ahead of schedule and under budget, resulting in a surplus of £70 million. This surplus has been reinvested in the West Midlands through the Commonwealth Games Legacy Enhancement Fund, supporting various initiatives such as business growth, youth projects, and grassroots organizations.

Sports Minister Stuart Andrew, who is currently attending the Sport Accord World Sport and Business Summit in Birmingham, underscored the enduring impact of the Games on the region. He emphasized that major sporting events play a vital role in driving economic growth, job creation, and community development.

The report also highlights the Games' role in boosting tourism, with Birmingham experiencing a 6% increase in visitor numbers compared to pre-pandemic levels. Additionally, there were significant gains in foreign direct investment projects, particularly in the West Midlands.

Looking ahead, the report suggests that the Games could yield over £150 million in further social value in the long term. This includes increased future earnings among individuals trained as part of the Games.

Chris Jenkins OBE, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, lauded Birmingham 2022 as a "spectacular, record-breaking" event that left a lasting legacy. He praised its impact on trade, investment, job creation, and tourism, highlighting its transformative effect on the region.

The Games' success was further bolstered by the Business and Tourism Programme (BATP), which aimed to capitalize on the Games' momentum to boost trade, investment, and tourism. Neil Rami, Chief Executive at the West Midlands Growth Company, hailed the Games as a testament to the region's event-hosting capabilities and its ability to attract global attention.

In addition to economic benefits, the Games contributed to the regeneration of the Perry Barr area, including infrastructure improvements and the renovation of the Alexander Stadium. The stadium, now open for community use, will also host the European Athletics Championships in 2026.

With major sporting events such as the 2025 Women’s Rugby World Cup and the 2028 UEFA European Championships on the horizon, the report underscores the significant societal impact of hosting such events in the UK. Photo by Roger Kidd, Wikimedia commons.