Watch our special broadcast as Birmingham marks 500 days to go until the Commonwealth Games:
It's been a busy and exciting week for the organisers of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
At 7pm on Sunday the Commonwealth Clock in Centenary Square signalled 500 days to go until the city stages the event.
Then on Monday plans were unveiled to deliver the first ever carbon-neutral Commonwealth Games.
And today, the Chairman of Birmingham 2022 told ITV News Central the benefits of the Commonwealth Games will be felt well into the future, as organisers launched their legacy plan.
There are nine legacy programmes which those tasked with delivering the games say sets out a bold vision for how the event can transform the region and unite communities across the West Midlands, the country and the Commonwealth, with a message of hope and recovery following the pandemic. The plan includes:
State-of-the-art legacy facilities at the Alexander Stadium and Sandwell AquaticsCentre for community use after the Games
1,400 homes in the first phase of the Perry Barr Regeneration Scheme, withhundreds more in future phases
A procurement spend of around £350 million to benefit businesses across theUK
35,000 jobs and opportunities available, with the first Commonwealth Jobs andSkills Academy offering a blueprint for reaching disadvantaged groups
200,000 hours of volunteer training for 12,500+ people, with a framework fordeveloping skills and employability that could be replicated by future Games
“Commonwealth Active Communities”, a £4 million Sport England fund to harness
the power of the Games to support inactive people to become more active
A six-month, UK-wide Cultural Festival reaching 2.5 million people and prioritisingunderrepresented communities, offering and a blueprint to support the long termgrowth of the arts and culture sector
A £6 million Commonwealth Games Community Fund from Birmingham CityCouncil to help communities build pride, respect and cohesion by celebrating theGames their way
An ambition to directly engage with one million children and young people througha learning programme, with classroom resources on the Games offered to childrenacross the UK and the Commonwealth
A £23.9 million programme to highlight the wealth of opportunities available in theWest Midlands, as well as promoting England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, around the world, enhancing the country’s profile as a destination for tourism, tradeand investment and supporting post-pandemic recoveryThe Queen’s Baton Relay will travel across Scotland, Wales and Northern Irelandbefore arriving in England, with communities across the UK encouraged to take part
The first Commonwealth Games to incorporate, measure and evidence the socialvalue impacts and benefits of hosting the Games, offering a model to future hostcities.
Nicola Turner, Director of Legacy, Birmingham 2022, and John Crabtree, Chairman, Birmingham 2022, spoke to ITV News Central about the legacy plan.
Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “From day one, as we started developing the bid to host Birmingham 2022, I have emphasised that the Commonwealth Games will be more than 11 days of spectacular sporting action. Sitting alongside the council’s own vision for the city, the Legacy Plan outlines exactly how we and the other Games Partners will make this a reality. The Games are clearly a once-in- a-lifetime opportunity to improve the lives of local people by generating business, delivering much-needed regeneration, being bold by promoting the city on the global stage and bringing our communities together. We will do everything we can to set the standard for future major events in Birmingham, across the Commonwealth, and beyond.”