It was great to hear from Neil Carney, keynote speaker at our Summer Reception this month, about the positive impact that the 2022 Commonwealth Games will bring to Birmingham.

After opening his engaging speech with an inspiring video, Neil shared some key stats about our Games. It will include 17 sports, involve 6500 athletes and officials, over 11 days. 11000 volunteers will be needed and 1.2m tickets will be available with over 1 billion watching worldwide.

If there are two things this Games need to do, it needs to tell our [Birmingham’s] story, and make us ambassadors so we can tell everyone else.

There is a great opportunity to start a modal shift, we will be a public transport Games and build the blue ways and green ways together. Getting people physically active to improve our health, mental health and well-being is a key aim of the Games, as informed by the people of Birmingham.

The Gold Coast had over a million people come along for cultural opportunities, and as Birmingham is two hours from anywhere in the UK, we could have the whole of the UK visit.

Over 4,000 jobs will be created year on year around the Games. A target has been set of over 84% of contracts to go to local businesses. This will beat the figure of 84% achieved by the Gold Coast. There will be lots of economic benefits and business opportunities but community engagement and civic life will also be important elements to amplify the benefits and leave a lasting civic legacy.

Neil closed by asking us all to get thinking about how we can all contribute to Birmingham 2022.

Watch the film that Neil opened his speech with, ‘Birmingham 2022 – The Countdown Begins’.

We’d like to thank DWF for kindly hosting our Summer Reception.