- Last year’s Commonwealth Games has already contributed £870.7 million to the UK economy, new report reveals
- 9,000 full time equivalent jobs were supported in 2022 thanks to the Games, with volunteers racking up 1.25 million hours of work
- Birmingham 2022 has provided the West Midlands with new sports venues and improved transport services
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games contributed at least £870 million** to the UK economy, a new study reveals.
The independent interim evaluation report found that the West Midlands economy received a significant boost, with over half the economic impact generated (£453.7 million**) benefiting businesses and communities across the region.
A record 1.5 million tickets were sold for Birmingham 2022, the largest multi-sport event hosted in England in the last 10 years.
Held between 28 July and 8 August 2022, the Games brought together 6,600 athletes and team officials from across 72 Commonwealth nations and territories.
Sports Minister Stuart Andrew said:
Birmingham 2022 was tremendously successful in boosting the local economy and bringing people together. This report shows that new jobs and investments are just the beginning of the story, with the Games paving the way for future events in the region.
The Games put the West Midlands on the global stage, and provided the region with world-class facilities. Thanks to Birmingham 2022, the city now has the industry know-how and venues to host the European Athletics Championships in 2026.
Diversity and inclusion was at the heart of the ‘Friendly Games’, with the first fully integrated pride programme, more medals for women than men and the biggest para-sport programme in Commonwealth Games history.
Since Birmingham was awarded the Games in 2017, the event has created roughly 15,410 years of employment in the UK. Over summer 2022, this equated to more than 9,000* full time equivalent jobs. Birmingham 2022 also delivered 5,188 weeks of apprenticeships, 2,000 work experience placements and training for 14,075 members of the Commonwealth Collective who contributed 1.25 million volunteering hours.
The interim report sets out benefits the Games has had on local businesses and volunteers. Almost three quarters of local businesses surveyed said they had secured new investments thanks to Games contracts. Commonwealth Collective volunteers said participating in the Games had increased feelings of inclusion, pride and wellbeing.
Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:
As this report makes clear, the Birmingham Commonwealth Games provided a huge and timely boost for Birmingham, the West Midlands and the United Kingdom.
The Games were just the start of Birmingham’s Golden Decade of Opportunity, providing a springboard for further success, and these findings underline why the bold decision by the council to lead the bid for the Games was the right one.
Birmingham 2022 was always about much more than 11 days of sport and our focus is now firmly upon realising the long-term legacy that being the Proud Host City will enable. The council will continue working with partners to ensure that the people and communities of Birmingham and the wider region continue to be Commonwealth Games winners for years to come.
Sir John Crabtree, outgoing chair of Birmingham 2022, said:
One of the key parts of our Birmingham 2022 mission was to help the region to grow and succeed, an ambition which took on even greater significance following the impact of the global pandemic. This report, which outlines a beneficial boost for the West Midlands economy, is evidence that the Games successfully achieved this aim, and this is further demonstrated by the figures for employment, with approximately 7,440 net full-time equivalent jobs supported at the peak of the Games.
It has been an incredible honour to lead the organisation of such an important event for the West Midlands and, as the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee nears the end of its journey, we would like to thank all of our partners for their support and contributions which helped to make the Games so successful and secured such a sizeable economic impact for the host city and region.
Geoff Thompson, outgoing deputy chair of Birmingham 2022, said:
This report clearly highlights once again the value of staging major sports events. This part of the country now has a fantastic opportunity to build on the success of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, especially as taking centre stage during the summer really helped to further raise the global profile of Birmingham, the West Midlands and beyond – socially, culturally and economically. In particular the sport and physical activity opportunities for young people and communities will continue to see an equitable, diverse and inclusive legacy realised for all.
The Games also had an impact on the region’s global reputation, pride in the West Midlands and community cohesion. Based on interviews with locals, the Games has provided a focal point for residents to come together and feel part of the events, as well as encouraging West Midlands residents to visit areas they would not otherwise have visited.
Dame Louise Martin, President, Commonwealth Games Federation said:
“From record-breaking ticket sales to the largest ever sports programme, the spectacular Birmingham 2022 set a new benchmark for Commonwealth Sport. Importantly, it also generated significant economic impact, driving investment and creating jobs, as well as boosting the region’s global reputation. The Games have left an impressive and wide-reaching legacy that will ensure they are remembered for many years to come.”
Birmingham 2022 events had an estimated total global TV viewership of 834.9 million, over 215 million digital views, 141 million interactions on social media and generated significant positive media coverage.
Thanks to the Commonwealth Games, Birmingham and the West Midlands have benefited from a new aquatics centre in Sandwell, the redevelopment of Alexander Stadium and wider regeneration projects in Perry Barr including a brand new train station.
Paul Blanchard, CEO of Commonwealth Games England said:
“It’s fantastic to see the impact Birmingham 2022 has had on the West Midlands and the nation. We saw the excitement the Games brought to the athletes with some hugely memorable moments and the millions of spectators who engaged. Now, to see the lasting impact is great, particularly the development into sport facilities and equipment in the region to inspire the next generation of English talent.”
The Games was delivered within a budget of £778 million and the UK government has announced that it will invest over £60 million of unspent contingency funding from this core budget in the West Midlands to further enhance the legacy of the Games.
The UK government is working with local authorities to ensure the funding is invested in increasing access to sport and culture, boosting the region’s expertise in hosting major events and driving inward investment and tourism.
*in gross terms
**gross value added (in gross terms)
- Read the full report.
- This report follows on from a pre-Games evaluation report published in November 2021. The longer term economic and societal impact of Commonwealth Games will be assessed by a third evaluation report, due to be published late next year or early 2024.
- A Highlights Report summarising some of the short term benefits of the Games was also published in September 2022.
- Gross figures do not take into account activity or spend that would have happened anyway or that would have happened instead, had the Games events not taken place in the West Midlands.
- Employment is reported in full time equivalent terms, which adjusts part time or temporary staff into annual full-time equivalents based on the proportion of full-time hours worked over a full year.