On Thursday 20th June 2019 an update on Birmingham Commonwealth Games and Coventry City of Culture was held. With just over 2 years to go, Cat Orchard, Head of Policy and Legacy for Birmingham City Council Commonwealth Games Project Team presented a briefing on the arrangements for the Commonwealth Games. A copy of her presentation can be found here. Chenine Bathena, Creative Director, Coventry City of Culture Trust provided an update that can be found here.
The mission of the Commonwealth Games is to bring people together, improve health and well-being, act as a catalyst for change, help the region to grow and put Birmingham on the map. The vision of the Coventry City of Culture is to re-imagine the place of culture in a diverse modern Britain.
During 2021 and 2022 the West Midlands will experience an influx of millions of people attending a range of events and activities relating to both these high profile events. To plan, organise and hold such major events takes a lot of resourcing and can be a catalyst to address wider economic, social and cultural issues leaving a legacy of improvements. Plans to increase investment in transport, housing, sports and cultural facilities, are afoot already, which will lead to jobs, and increase new businesses. Past initiatives have relied heavily on volunteers to support the events and activities, creating opportunities that can lead towards new social connections and improved health and well-being. The financial investment to achieve this will be significant with decisions on major budgets being made by a quite complicated but short term governance structures. Both initiatives have plans to involve communities in the design and production of activities and events, and ideas about the legacy. Both spoke about how communities and the voluntary and community sector can become involved and benefit.