Games will put Warwickshire's business potential in the shop window for 1.5 billion viewers
"These events, competed for by elite sports men and women from across the world, will be truly memorable in a sporting context alone, but the benefits for Warwickshire and its businesses and employers in terms of its economy and profile will be far-reaching."
The benefit of the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games to businesses and the economy of Warwickshire will stretch far beyond this summer, believes Warwickshire County Council's Strategic Director for Communities, Mark Ryder.
The Commonwealth Games will take place from July 28 to August 8 this year. They will be based in Birmingham but with events hosted across the West Midlands region, including two prestige sports in Warwickshire.
Warwickshire is established as a venue for global cycling events, having hosted multiple Men’s and Women's Tours for six years, and is therefore an obvious pick for the cycling road races. The Women’s and Men’s road races will take place in and around Warwick on Sunday 7th August.
Victoria Park, Leamington, meanwhile, will welcome the Lawn Bowls and Para Lawn Bowls from 29th July to 6th August. The venue and town are no stranger to delivering major bowls events having hosted many international and county competitions over the years.
The cycling races are expected to attract around 30,000 spectators while the bowls will also generate significant numbers, providing an immense fillip for the county's tourist and hospitality sector.
However, the Games' benefit to Warwickshire will be felt far beyond their 11-day duration this summer, insists Mark Ryder. They will attract a colossal global TV audience of around 1.5 billion viewers, bringing the county and its attractions to the attention of millions of people.
"This is an incredibly exciting summer for our region and it is a real honour for Warwickshire to be hosting two prestigious events in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games," Mark said.
"These events, competed for by elite sports men and women from across the world, will be truly memorable in a sporting context alone, but the benefits for Warwickshire and its businesses and employers in terms of its economy and profile will be far-reaching.
"Our beautiful county has always had a vibrant visitor economy with many tourists returning to us time and again. I know that this summer the traditional warm Warwickshire welcome will be extended to all the thousands of new visitors. I am sure that many of those first-time visitors will want to return which means the economic impact of this historic summer will be long-lasting.
"Attracting the Commonwealth Games cycling to Warwickshire was the culmination of six successful years of bringing men's and women's elite cycling to the county in the form of the Tour events. That ensured that Warwickshire is renowned as a leading place for international cycling and I applaud all those individuals and organisations that have worked so hard and well to deliver the Tour events so impressively."
Previous high-profile cycling events have attracted significant economic returns to Warwickshire so an event of the magnitude of the Commonwealth Games is expected to generate considerable spend in the local economy, both during the Games and subsequently.
Lord Coe, one of the drivers of the 2012 London Olympic Games, recently told Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce that, 'people should not underestimate the impact the West Midlands area connecting with the Commonwealth Games will have.' He pointed out that, in London, the Olympics were worth nearly £17 million in overseas trade in the following year."
Warwickshire County Council has attached high priority to making sure businesses are kept well-informed about opportunities presented by the Games.
"We have been working with businesses to ensure they are well placed to capitalise on any opportunities that the Games might bring; before, during and after," said Mark Ryder. "There has been a series of webinars aimed at getting our businesses in 'pole position' to take advantage of any opportunities and further engagement is taking place to support them around advertising and trade restrictions."