Crowe calls on all West Midlands businesses to seize The Commonwealth Games opportunity

Crowe calls on all West Midlands businesses to seize The Commonwealth Games opportunity

National audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe is calling on all West Midlands businesses to maximize their returns from The Commonwealth Games which comes to Birmingham in 2022.

The government has announced a £778 million investment in Birmingham and the West Midlands to stage the 11 days of the games.

Johnathan Dudley, managing partner of the Midlands office of Crowe, said: “This investment will deliver significant benefits for Birmingham, the West Midlands and the UK long after the 11 days of sport in 2022 are over.

“Birmingham 2022 will open up a wealth of opportunities, including business and trade, cultural engagement, volunteering, physical activity, jobs, skills, education and of course, tourism.”

He said it would be an excellent opportunity for the ‘City of 1,000 Trades’ to showcase itself as a leading cosmopolitan, young and vibrant city region.

“This investment will derive benefits for businesses and individuals, but only to the extent that you will only get out what you put in.

“Businesses need to set aside time to become involved, identify and tender for contracts and commercial opportunities.”

He added that it was also an opportunity for the city to throw off its natural self-effacement and celebrate everything it offers.

“We may be Britain’s second city, in size, but in so many ways we are definitely not second best.

“We have world beating automotive brands and engineering, and the Anchor Assay mark is world renowned for the quality of our jewellery.

“We have the largest number of Michelin stars outside London, and we are the home of the Royal Ballet, two Premier League football clubs and two Championship clubs.

“The Midlands Engine, so named because of the expertise, tradition and work ethic of our region, signifies the powerhouse of our country, typified by world-renowned historic visitor attractions such as the Back to Back House, the Black Country Living Museum, Severn Valley Railway, Gas Street Basin and Brindleyplace,”

He pointed out that the West Midlands was the cradle of the industrial revolution but also mentioned modern attractions such as the ICC, the NEC, along with the Genting Arena which continues to attract the top names of music and show business.

But Dudley cautioned: “However, we do need to get the project right.

“Birmingham City Council’s proposals to promote transport links into the city are welcome. However, as Andy Street says, the proposed demolition of the Perry Barr flyover, part of the A34 trunk road into the city from J7 M6 and the North Black Country towns is hugely risky and highly likely to cause long term gridlock into our city. It needs to be re-thought.

“We need the long term legacy of Birmingham 2022 to be positive for the city, as it did in Manchester and Glasgow in the past.

“We don’t want localised and national inconvenience to be associated with the games such that at a time when we should be using a jumping off point for enhancing our global credentials, our citizens associate them with inconvenience and disruption.”

And he urged business from concrete mixers to coffee stalls to take time to consider the opportunities.

“You only have to look at the stunning re-imagining of the Alexander Stadium and the building of the Sandwell Aquatics Centre, to be inspired.

“Birmingham 2022 is good for business, but new contracts won’t just fall into your lap. You need to plan now and go out and fight your corner for your share of the business that will ripple out from this hugely significant investment in the region.”