AHEAD of the one-year anniversary of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games £70million has been approved to ensure the Games’ positive and long-lasting legacy is felt across the entire region.
Last summer’s Games came in under budget and the Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and the UK Government decided to invest the remaining funds into the region.
Among the first to benefit from the £70million are five Games Legacy Trailblazer projects, run by United by 2022, the Official Games Legacy Charity.
Thanks to £5million from the fund, they will continue to engage with people from underserved and overlooked communities across the West Midlands for a further two years, widening the impact they had in the build up to last year’s Games to ensure as many people as possible were part of the 10-day spectacle.
They are Critical Mass, an inclusive dance and movement programme; Gen22, a youth social action programme, aimed at empowering young people aged 16 to 24 to make real change in their own communities; Bring the Power, which promotes more opportunities for people with disabilities, and to get more women and girls participating in Games-linked physical activity; Social Value, a private and third sector partnership to financially support grassroots organisations; and Volunteers’ Collective, a region-wide website to promote volunteering opportunities.
There is also a £10.5 million Community Fund programme for locally led projects that bring people together and promote health and wellbeing; and a £1.2 million Environment Fund programme – building on the WMCA’s Community Green Grants scheme which has supported communities with grants to open up access to more green space for 200,000 residents and planted over 2,000 trees.
Other projects allocated money from the Commonwealth Games Legacy Enhancement Fund include a bid to bring the 2026 European Athletics Championships to Birmingham, a jobs and skills programme and funds to support the recovery of the region’s cultural, heritage and creative sector by commissioning creative projects and place-based activities in each of the seven WMCA constituent council areas.
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said: “Beyond the medals won, records broken and memories to last a lifetime, we were determined to deliver a fantastic legacy – sporting, cultural and economic – for generations to come.
“At the heart of this plan was inspiring people to get into sport and physical activity, boosting job and volunteering opportunities, and creating a more sustainable region.
“The Government’s decision to commit this £70 million funding to support fantastic projects across the region will ensure the Games’ legacy lives on in the West Midlands, maximising the potential of the local area and creating and supporting more opportunities for people to enjoy sport.”
The WMCA say more projects will be allocated money from the Fund in the coming months.