The Business and Tourism Programme (BATP) will build on the profile created by the Games to attract more visitors, trade, events and investment into Birmingham, the West Midlands and the UK. It will concentrate on nations and territories across the Commonwealth, plus the domestic UK market.
The programme is designed to secure more than £650 million of new overseas investment into the UK, and create £7 million of additional export deals until 2027. It is also expected to attract an additional 39,000 visitors to the region and UK until 2027*, with an estimated £12 million in visitor spend. The programme aims to benefit areas outside the West Midlands, across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Neil Rami, Chief Executive, West Midlands Growth Company said:
“We already know that the West Midlands is a fantastic place to visit, to invest, to trade and to meet. The international profile offered by the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will help us take this message to more people than ever before. The BATP gives us the opportunity to celebrate our successes and stories with audiences right across the Commonwealth. It will leave a tangible economic legacy for Birmingham, the West Midlands and the UK for years to come.”
Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Sport and Tourism, said:
“Birmingham 2022 is a massive investment and tourism opportunity for the UK.
“This programme is designed to ensure that businesses in the West Midlands and across the country can seize this opportunity and capitalise on the profile of the Games and its audience of 1.5 billion people.
“We want to level-up the country and help the tourism sector bounce back swiftly in the aftermath of coronavirus. This campaign will enhance the global reputation of Birmingham, the West Midlands and the UK as a leading destination for trade, investment and tourism.”
The programme runs from early 2021 until the end of 2023, taking advantage of opportunities before, during and after the Games. Activity will include sales missions, showcase events, marketing campaigns and a media programme. Targeted meetings with investors will take place alongside cultural celebrations.
Showcase events in support of the Queen’s Baton Relay, Expo 2020 Dubai, and UK House during the Games will help to demonstrate innovation and world-leading expertise to a global audience.
Graham Stuart, Minister for Exports, said:
“The Commonwealth Games brings so many nations together and allows us to show that the UK is open for business, open to partnerships and ready to act as an independent, global trading hub to boost the economic prospects of Commonwealth partners.
“Birmingham 2022 will boost exports, attract inward investment and give both the Midlands and the rest of the UK the shot in the arm required to recover from the pandemic and create more and better paying jobs over the years to come.”
By showcasing the best of the region and UK, the BATP is anticipated to create some 1,000 new jobs, with up to 600 of these roles based in the West Midlands.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said:
“The Commonwealth Games is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the West Midlands, and we absolutely have to make the most of it.
“Our Business and Tourism Programme is therefore absolutely vital, as it sets out how we plan to market our region to brand new audiences across the world, helping to attract more overseas investment.
“Generating this investment, alongside the tourism spend that will come from visitors, is key to our region’s recovery from the pandemic and will help to create much-needed local jobs for local people.”
The BATP’s trade and investment strands will focus on four key sectors: data-driven healthcare; creative technologies; future mobility; and modern business services. The UK has been identified as a global leader in each industry, which will help to create new trading relationships and attract overseas investment. The programme will also support sectors including e-commerce and the sports economy.
Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:
“The Commonwealth Games are much more than 11 days of great sporting action and this programme will come as a timely post-pandemic boost for all sectors of our economy.
“Birmingham is a warm, welcoming city with a great visitor offer and a reputation for staging world-class sporting and cultural events. We have so much to offer the world and, through this programme, we have a fantastic platform to showcase the talents of the people of Birmingham and show off our city to a global audience.”
As the Games approaches, a business readiness campaign will help local hospitality businesses prepare the best welcome. Tourists will be able to use a digital visitor platform and pop-up information sites to enjoy the experiences on offer.
After the Games, BATP activity will focus on supporting businesses looking to locate here, confirming export contracts, and securing capital investments to cement its economic legacy. Tourists will be encouraged to visit again through targeted marketing activity, while bids to host more sports tournaments and major events will capitalise on the exposure from the Games.
Funding for the BATP comes from central and local government. It comprises £21.3 million announced in the Spring 2020 Budget, and a £2.6 million investment confirmed by the West Midlands Combined Authority in June 2020. There will be opportunities for private sector sponsorship of the programme.
CGF President Dame Louise Martin said:
“The Commonwealth Games provides a unique opportunity to boost the profile of a city and a country. It creates the jobs, infrastructure and investment that provide numerous tangible benefits for the local community.
“I am therefore delighted to see the launch of the Business and Tourism Programme which Birmingham will use as the catalyst to promote the very best of the city, the West Midlands and the UK.”
The BATP has been developed by a range of regional and national partners, including the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, West Midlands Combined Authority, West Midlands Growth Company, the Department for International Trade, and VisitBritain. They are working closely with the Organising Committee for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Birmingham City Council and the Commonwealth Games Federation to deliver the BATP.