Nearly half the UK tuned in or turned up to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, new polling shows, with eight in 10 people saying it gave the country the chance to celebrate.
The findings, in a survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of the Department for Media, Culture, and Sport, found the Commonwealth Games drew an estimated UK audience of more than 20 million – including TV, online and in person viewings.
The survey also reveals that two in three people from Birmingham and the surrounding metropolitan areas engaged with the Commonwealth Games, with a quarter of those polled saying they turned out to watch the Queen’s Baton Relay as it travelled through the city. According to IPSOS, six in 10 people in Birmingham (60%) agree that the Commonwealth Games has had a positive impact on the economy in Birmingham and Sandwell. The same number said the event will have improved perceptions of the area, with less than one in 10 disagreeing.
The statistics, published in a new report titled ‘Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games: The Highlights’ which shows the positive benefits the event has had on sport and cultural participation, job creation, and the regional economy.
The Commonwealth Games created 40,000 jobs and skills opportunities for local people, including 14,000 volunteer positions, according to the report. A dedicated ‘Jobs and Skills Academy’ invested over £10 million to train unemployed residents to take advantage of roles during the Commonwealth Games.
Nigel Huddleston, Minister for the Commonwealth Games, said: “These results really underline that Birmingham 2022 was more than just the 11 days of fantastic sport. The West Midlands and the UK really got behind Birmingham 2022 and recaptured that 2012 spirit, giving the whole country the opportunity to come together and celebrate our amazing athletes.
“The legacy of the Games has only begun, and I can’t wait to see the region continue to reap the economic, cultural and social benefits from delivering a showstopper summer.”
‘Birmingham rose brilliantly to the challenge’
Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham city council, said: “This is precisely why I championed bringing the Commonwealth Games to Birmingham for so long. When people questioned whether we could afford to host, I was always convinced that we simply couldn’t afford not to do it.
“The Commonwealth Games were about so much more than 11 days of world-class sport. They delivered homes, jobs, transport improvements, cultural opportunities and a collective sense of pride.
“The people, communities and businesses of Birmingham rose brilliantly to the challenge and together we hosted an unforgettable festival of sport, culture, hospitality, and sheer unbridled enjoyment.”
Andy Street, mayor of the West Midlands, said: “As I reflect on the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, I can honestly say I’ve never felt prouder to be from the West Midlands. This summer’s spectacle must represent a starting point and not a finish line.
“I want to see a lasting legacy for the people of the West Midlands for generations to come and it’s already clear that there is immense potential to deliver just that.
“We brought communities together in a moment of collective celebration, we upskilled thousands of local residents, we doubled our pipeline of inward investment leads, and – with Sandwell Aquatics Centre and the revamped Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr – we’re providing a tangible legacy for future sporting superstars.
“It’s great news that Commonwealth Games sporting equipment will now be shared free of charge with local grassroots organisations and I look forward to seeing much more good news in the weeks, months and years ahead.”
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