Birmingham has been selected as the preferred UK candidate city for a potential bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The decision comes after an independent assessment panel including Commonwealth Games England Chief Executive Paul Blanchard and officials from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport made the recommendation for Birmingham to Ministers.

The government, in consultation with Commonwealth Games England, will now make a final decision if the UK will submit a formal bid to the Commonwealth Games Federation, with Birmingham as the proposed candidate city.

This decision will be made based on whether Birmingham’s proposals for the 2022 Commonwealth Games offer overall value for money for the UK taxpayer.  If Birmingham’s bid passes this final stage of assessment then a formal bid will be submitted to the Commonwealth Games Federation in the coming weeks.

Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said:

“I am grateful to the bid teams from both Birmingham and Liverpool for their hard work in making the case for their respective cities as potential Commonwealth Games hosts. Now, after a comprehensive assessment process, the government will look at the final bid proposal from Birmingham and decide if a formal bid will be submitted to the Commonwealth Games Federation. We need to be completely satisfied that the bid offers overall value for money from hosting the Games and that a strong economic and sporting legacy can be delivered from it.

“The UK has fantastic expertise in hosting the biggest events in sport, as recently showcased at the London 2017 World Para Athletics and IAAF World Championships, and if we are to bid and are selected to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022 I have no doubt that Birmingham would put on an excellent sporting spectacle.”

While both bids were of high quality, Birmingham’s bid was considered particularly strong on its management of risk, its high quality existing venue infrastructure and its plans for a long term sporting legacy.

Both Birmingham and Liverpool were put through a rigorous two phase assessment process to test their hosting credentials that included two formal applications and two site visits to each city

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.”