Craig Tracey, local Member of Parliament for North Warwickshire and Bedworth, has welcomed Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund awarding £6m (£3m each) to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games as major funding partners of the cultural festival.
Currently scheduled to run from March – September 2022, the festival will be the first of its kind in the West Midlands, expected to reach 2.5 million people through a range of high-profile events and local projects.
Commenting on the announcement, Craig said:
‘’As somebody who has followed the progress of the Games right from scrutinising its very first Bill in Parliament to taking every opportunity to raise the subject in debates and lobby Ministers on increased funding, I am absolutely delighted to see this latest investment.
The funding demonstrates that the Commonwealth Games is so much more than just a normal sporting event, as I know residents have worked incredibly hard to make plans to celebrate the diverse range of arts, culture and heritage that the West Midlands region offers and display this on a global stage. It is also hugely positive news for the local economy – I have already referred a number of sports grounds in the area to the Games’ organisers so that we can maximise these benefits in my constituency and across the wider Midlands area.
I know this latest news will be welcomed extremely warmly by local residents and key stakeholders alike.’’
As a direct result of the funding awards, the Games’ official Culture Team will begin to commission projects, launch ‘Open Calls’ to support artists and heritage-makers develop their ideas for 2022. Out of the 450 current investments in artists and creatives, 90% of the commissioned work is from people based in or originally from the West Midlands.
‘’This support will be significant in ensuring the Games reach as many people as possible across our West Midland communities and as a result will create a truly spectacular Games.
Through the help of our fantastic funding partners, this just shows how committed we are in making the most of this festival and showcasing the very best creativity and sports our wonderful region has to offer.
I would like to congratulate everyone involved on their incredibly efforts so far and I am really looking forward to seeing the Games progress.”