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  1. ITV Report

Cycling to be outside Midlands as part of 2022 bid

Photo: Birmingham City Council

Derby Arena has not been included in Birmingham's bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, ITV News Central understands. The venue is the Midlands' only velodrome, but does not comply with Commonwealth Games' rules on capacity. It means track cycling would be held outside the Midlands, with Manchester or London favourites.

A new velodrome in Birmingham is considered to be too expensive as part of the City Council's 'low-risk' financial proposal. The only new venue to be built as part of the bid is a swimming pool in Sandwell. Track cycling is not a core Commonwealth Games event, but is almost certain to be included in any sporting schedule in 2022.

Birmingham cycling legend Tommy Godwin won bronze medals in the 1948 Olympics. He made it his mission to bring a world class velodrome to Birmingham but died 5 years ago. His daughter, Kay Jones, says an opportunity is being missed.

She said:

It is really sad. If we're having that commitment to this event then I really do think that we should make sure that all the facilities are there within a short distance of Birmingham.

It seems bizarre to have the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham but the track cycling is going to be held in either Manchester or London.

– Kay Jones, Tommy Godwin's daughter

Birmingham City Council told us that that plans for the track cycling have yet to be announced as they are still involved in a competitive process.

Derby are keen to partner with Birmingham to keep the Games in the Midlands. Leader of Derby City Council, Ranjit Banwait, told ITV News Central they want the Games in the city.

He said:

When I found out the Birmingham were looking to put in a bid I had conversations with Birmingham City Council about how we could work together and offer our leisure facilities for the benefit of the bid. We all have that desire to bring the games to the region.

– Ranjit Banwait, Leader of Derby City Council

ITV News Central has learned that, although there was desire on both sides to bring the Games to Derby, there are no plans to significantly redevelop Derby Arena to meet Commonwealth Games' requirements as a competition venue. The Birmingham bid team won't rule out using it as a training venue.