Why the Commonwealth Games is a golden opportunity for Sandwell to shine19th November 2018
Alan Taylor is managing director of Smethwick-based MiGlass Limited, one of the largest independent glass processors and glass manufacturers in Europe. He is also chair of Sandwell Business Ambassadors, a collective of business people in the Sandwell area with the aim of supporting the regionâ€™s business community.
On July 27 2022, the XXII Commonwealth Games will open in Birmingham. Yes, itâ€™s been a long journey, with the odd pause and palpitation along the way, but for 12 days the West Midlands will be home to one of the worldâ€™s greatest sporting spectacles, with more than 5,000 athletes representing 73 nations expected to compete.
Itâ€™s been estimated that the games will be worth Â£1.1 billion to the UK economy, and support an average of 4,526 jobs in Birmingham each year until 2022 â€“ as well as seeing opportunities in areas like construction, sport, engineering and tourism â€“ last yearâ€™s games on Australiaâ€™s Gold Coast attracted more than 100,000 visitors to the region.
This is a huge opportunity for the region â€“ not just Birmingham, but the wider West Midlands, including Sandwell â€“ and businesses need to grab this once in a lifetime opportunity.
There is already huge investment being pledged; the Government recently promised Â£165m to build more than 5,000 homes for the games â€“ which will initially be used by athletes and officials and then, post event, be available for general use. Here in Sandwell, the Â£60m Aquatics Centre will host Commonwealth Games swimming and diving â€“ a major coup for the region, both in terms of jobs created but also legacy; once the games are complete, it will then be used as a leisure centre, for all to use.
Now is the time to ask yourself â€˜how can I and my business contribute to the games?â€™; organisers will already be starting the processes to procure a wide range of services and products. Make sure you are on the starting line now to be part of something truly memorable.