'Huge investment' of £778m announced for Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

The new designs for the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham.

West Midlands is set to receive a whopping £778 million investment to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, the government has confirmed.

This means the 2022 Games will be the most expensive sports event in Britain since the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Work to build a new multi-million pound aquatics centre in Sandwell, the diving and swimming venue, is yet to begin.

The public funding, will be split approximately 75% and 25% between investment from central government and Birmingham City Council and a number of its key partners.

A £60m aquatics centre is planned for the 2022 Games. Credit: British Swimming

The money is set to offer "significant benefits" opening up various opportunities including business and trade, cultural engagement, volunteering, physical activity, jobs and skills, education and tourism.

Part of the investment will include transport infrastructure for improvements at Perry Barr and University stations and new SPRINT rapid bus routes, subject to approval.

It will be the biggest sporting and cultural event ever held in the city, featuring thousands of world-class athletes, over a million spectators and an estimated global TV audience of 1.5 billion.

More than one million tickets will also be made available for spectators from across the UK and around the world.

The Games will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the Perry Barr area with the development of a high-quality new residential neighbourhood.

After the games, the development will be converted into more than 1,400 homes, the first phase of a long-term regeneration plan for Perry Barr and surrounding areas that will provide 5,000 new homes in total.

Birmingham was awarded the rights to host the Games in December 2017.

This announcement comes following a detailed budget review that took place after Birmingham was awarded host city rights.

The Commonwealth Games will take place between July 27 and August 7 2022.

The new Alexander Stadium plan reveals a revamped facility for community use, grassroots sport and international standard competition. Credit: Birmingham City Council

Lord Ashton will confirm the budget during the Second Reading of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill in the House of Lords on Tuesday afternoon.

Mims Davies MP, Minister for Sport and Civil Society said: "The Games budget is a significant investment in Birmingham and the region that will deliver benefits to local people for years to come.

"It will increase participation and encourage more people to get active and stay active, and to volunteer to be part of this fantastic event 10 years on from London 2012."

Birmingham City Council said the level of investment is "huge" and the event will provide a "golden opportunity".

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, added: "The Games are undoubtedly a catalyst, bringing forward many regeneration and infrastructure schemes, so they are delivered much quicker that we could have done so otherwise."

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: "This is a huge investment in Birmingham and the wider West Midlands to ensure the Commonwealth Games leaves a legacy far beyond 2022.

"The Commonwealth Games will bring a global spotlight to Birmingham and the West Midlands, and we are looking forward to taking this opportunity to showcase our region to the world and celebrate how far we have come."