The power of the Commonwealth Games to act as a catalyst for Host City improvements is praised

Published: Friday, 22nd July 2022

The transformative power of the Commonwealth Games was observed by CGF President Dame Louise Martin during a visit to Perry Barr yesterday (July 21).

Dame Louise Martin, Cllr Ian Ward and other council officers in front of new housing in Perry Barr

The area, a suburb in the north-west of the Proud Host City for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, is receiving in excess of £700million of investment – with the event acting as a catalyst for the improvement of the area.

Dame Louise enjoyed a walkabout of the area led by Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, which has co-ordinated the regeneration of Perry Barr, guided by a masterplan covering a period through to the year 2040.

Winning the right to host the Games back in 2017 accelerated long-held local ambitions to improve the area and the current investment includes:

  • The delivery of almost 1,000 new homes, unlocking longer-term plans for 5,000 locally;
  • Improved transport links including a remodelled road network and improved facilities for cycling and walking;
  • The redevelopment of the Alexander Stadium into both a world-class sporting venue and focal point for health, wellbeing and community activity;
  • A modernised railway station and bus interchange;
  • The construction of a Sprint bus rapid transit route serving the area;
  • Improved public realm and open space;
  • A new secondary school, which opened in September 2021.

Following the tour, Dame Louise said: “Within the Commonwealth Sport movement we say sport is just the beginning – what I have seen today encapsulates that.

“One of Birmingham’s key strengths as a Candidate City was that it had excellent infrastructure, but there is always more any Host City then has to do in order to be Games ready.

“What I have seen here in Perry Barr is hugely impressive. It shows how Birmingham City Council has joined forces with other public and private sector partners to supercharge plans to enhance an existing community and make it a place to be for new residents, businesses and visitors.”

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, added: “I was delighted to have the opportunity to show Dame Louise the progress we are making in Perry Barr to improve the quality of life for people in an area that will be a key focal point during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

“I’ve been clear ever since we stepped forward to host the Games there had to be a meaningful benefit for the people of the city – we had to show it is much more than 11 days of fantastic sporting action.

“If we hadn’t bid for the Games and been named as Proud Host City, this investment would have gone elsewhere and our aim to improve north-west Birmingham is now being realised at a much quicker pace than it ever would have been.”

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