£70m of unspent Commonwealth Games funding to be targeted on levelling up the region - The Solihull Observer

£70m of unspent Commonwealth Games funding to be targeted on levelling up the region

Solihull Editorial 20th Mar, 2023   0

AROUND £70m of unspent Commonwealth Games funding is to be used to realise the Games’ legacy ambitions, help level up and grow the West Midlands economy and boost its trade and tourism sectors.

The Government will provide the money, which is £10m more than originally announced, to the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to help enhance and amplify the positive legacy of the Games across the entire region.

The WMCA Board has agreed to allocate just under £39m to bolster the economy, trade and tourism and support initiatives set out in the region’s recently launched economic blueprint Plan for Growth.

Another £20.8m will be used to help tackle inequalities in the region’s more deprived communities including encouraging participation in sports and physical activity.

Just over £4m will be used to support the region’s culture and heritage sector and programmes to improve environmental sustainability and people’s wellbeing will also get £4m.

West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street said: “Last summer, our region played host to the spectacular Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – a wonderful moment of collective celebration for millions both at home and abroad.

“Despite the challenges inherent in delivering a project of such scale, the Games actually came in under budget and I’m pleased that the Government has agreed to enable the West Midlands to retain this underspend.

The Fund will also be used by the West Midlands Growth Company to provide intensive support for high-growth Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Other priorities include financial support for the bidding and hosting of major events such as the European Athletics Championship, initiatives that drive new jobs and improve people’s skills and the delivery of trailblazing legacy projects that bring about more inclusive communities.

The Legacy Fund will also be used for programmes to boost access to culture and heritage in the region.


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