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7 September 2017, 11:55 | Updated: 7 September 2017, 12:51
Birmingham has beaten Liverpool in the race to be the UK's candidate for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Having beaten Liverpool in a tight race to win the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport's backing, Birmingham must now convince the government to approve the bid and support the event's costs.
We should hear about that decision in the next few weeks, with the Commonwealth Games Federation's final decision on where the 2022 Games will be held expected by the end of the year.
Chief Executive of Commonwealth Games England, Paul Blanchard, was part of the assessment panel who selected the bid city. He said:
“A Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022 will deliver a lasting sporting, cultural and economic impact not just for the West Midlands but the country as a whole. I am sure that Birmingham could stage a fantastic Games, showcasing not only the West Midlands and a whole of the UK but the Commonwealth movement as a whole..”
“I would like to add my thanks to both Liverpool and Birmingham for their dedication in providing two outstanding bids and for their support throughout the entire process. The panel were convinced that both cities had the potential to host the Games in 2022 but we had to choose a winner and Birmingham came out marginally on top.”
“The Treasury now have an important decision to make and we will await the outcome with interest.”
Birmingham had planned to bid to host the 2026 games, but an unexpected announcement about the withdrawal or Durban meant the bid was brought forward by four years.
The city and wider West Midlands has been reacting to the news...
We chatted to Joel in Victoria Square who was practising his free running - he thinks it'd be great for the city to actually hold the games.
So, if Birmingham does win, what will be the venues?
Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands, said:
“The regional support of the Midlands was a key determining factor and I want to thank all those regional agencies and organisations that have worked hard over the last six months to get us to this position. We will make the Commonwealth proud.”
Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce chief executive Paul Faulkner said: “It is brilliant news that the government have chosen Birmingham over Liverpool to be the UK’s candidate city to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
“It has been a long, hard contest so far and it is great that we have got the nod to go forward.
“The race isn’t over yet – we have still got to compete against a few other cities across the Commonwealth to host the Games in 2022. “But this is a huge step forward. It is a massive vote of confidence from the government in Birmingham and in the whole region.
“A lot of hard work has been put in from many stakeholders across the region to get this far.
“Now we encourage everyone to get behind the bid, put our best foot forward and make sure the Commonwealth Games does come to Birmingham in 2022.”