THE NEWLY formed West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) will support Birmingham if it bids to host the 2026 Commonweath Games.
As the country finds itself gripped in Olympic spirit, Solihull Council leader and chair of the WMCA, Bob Sleigh, has said the Combined Authority would rally behind the city if councillors decide to go ahead and bid for the tournament.
While it has not been confirmed whether Birmingham will throw its hat in the ring alongside other potential hosts Liverpool, Belfast, Edmonton in Canada, Auckland in New Zealand and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, talks are underway.
Coun Bob Sleigh said: “Clearly Birmingham will be weighing up whether it wants to come forward as a potential host for the Commonwealth Games in 10 years time.
“After they have considered the benefits and, if they do decide it’s right for the city, then the WMCA would offer its fullest support to back the bid.
“Large scale sporting events can have huge economic, social and cultural benefits for a city and can leave a lasting legacy on a region.
“Not just a physical legacy with more people taking up sport but also a legacy of pride and enthusiasm as the city becomes well known to an international audience.
“You simply cannot underestimate that feel good factor.”
Coun Sleigh went on to state the WMCA would play ‘a major part’ in Birmingham’s bid for the Games, arguing proposed improved transport links in the region and a better skilled workforce would make the West Midlands an attractive host for future international events.