The Tokyo Olympics may be dominating all things sport-related at the moment, but for those in trade and industry, eyes are already turning to the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The UK government has announced plans to use the forthcoming games to facilitate additional investment that could be worth a predicted £650m of additional foreign investment, generating £7m of additional exports by 2027.
A £24 million business and tourism programme will launch to specifically attract more visitors, trade, events and investment into the West Midlands and UK as a whole, from 53 other members of the Commonwealth.
As part of this budget, the UK will help arrange trade missions, and organise promotional campaigns and create meetings with potential investors.
Speaking to the Financial Times sports minister Nigel Huddleston said: “The [Commonwealth] games is mapping the West Midlands and we want to squeeze value out of every pound.”
He added that the Commonwealth Games have a record of improving economies, citing the boasts that were previously enjoyed by Manchester in 2002 and Glasgow in 2014.
The announcement comes as UK exporters still await the government's replacement for the cancelled Tradeshow Access Programme, where grants were given for exporters to attend overseas trade shows.
Bottom line boost
Successful games – Olympic or Commonwealth – do translate into a positive line on the balance sheet. Data suggests that the London 2012 Olympic Games gave the UK a £9.9bn boost in trade and investment – eclipsing the estimated £8.9 billion that the games cost to host.
The FT suggests that the Birmingham Games will cost £778 million to put on – as little new infrastructure building is needed to accommodate it. But the economic benefit could be as high as £1 billion.
Last year The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) published research which showed that the event has provided an economic boost of between £800 million ($980 million/€897 million) and £1.2 billion ($1.4 billion/€1.3 billion) for recent host cities, as well as contributing social and environmental benefits.
Research for the report was taken from the Manchester 2002, Melbourne 2006, Glasgow 2014 and The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The report claims Gold Coast 2018 had the biggest economic impact with a boost of £1.2 billion ($1.4 billion/€1.3 billion), followed by £1.1 billion ($1.3 billion/€1.2 billion) for Manchester 2002.