Liverpool has given its support to the prospect of a UK Commonwealth Games after losing out on the chance to host the competition in 2022.
The team behind the city’s bid expressed disappointment yesterday (7 September) after it was revealed that Birmingham had won the UK nomination, but welcomed the possibility of the Games still happening in this country.
Following the confirmation that Liverpool’s bid, which was to see the city work in partnership with Manchester to deliver the major event, Liverpool 2022 bid chairman Brian Barwick says: “It is a great shame that our transformational bid for Liverpool to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games has not made it through to the next stage of this bidding process, but we are proud to have put together such a bold plan, and it has been incredible to see the city unite behind a common cause and come together under the banner of the Commonwealth.
“I’d like to congratulate the city of Birmingham on making it to the next phase, and would like to offer this city’s support to the bid as it aims to represent the UK internationally. It will be great to see the Commonwealth Games back in the UK and we wish Birmingham well for the next stage in this process.
“I would also like to pay tribute to the hard-working and super-talented team that put the Liverpool Bid together and am sure in due course a lot of positives will come through for the city from their endeavours.”
Liverpool had initially been planning to submit a bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games but it seized the opportunity to try and stage the 2022 event after Durban in South Africa, which had been awarded the Games back in 2015, did not meet the criteria set by the Commonwealth Games Foundation prompting the search for a new host city.
A spokesperson for Liverpool City Council says the chance of the city hosting the 2026 competition is also now out of the bid team’s hands.
According to the spokesperson the 2026 event would not be held in the UK if Birmingham is eventually awarded the 2022 Commonwealth Games. If the Midlands city doesn’t win, it would then be up to the government to decide whether to enter a city for 2016, so it’s “too soon to say if it would even be possible”.
The Liverpool 2022 bid team had revealed plans to feature the proposed new Everton FC stadium on Bramley Moore Dock at the heart of its Games, along with the development of a new waterfront swimming pool.
Meanwhile a ‘cultural armada’ was to be staged along the River Mersey on the eve of the Commonwealth Games, with an official opening ceremony then taking place at Liverpool FC’s Anfield stadium.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson adds: “I am hugely disappointed Liverpool has not won the UK nomination for Commonwealth Games 2022. I believed our bid was truly excellent and one which deserved to win. We are extremely proud of the work we put in to building a plan for what would have been an exciting and transformational games and a powerful example of the potential of the Northern Powerhouse.
“It was an opportunity to accelerate growth and develop North Liverpool creating thousands of jobs and creating new revenue. We are not afraid to be ambitious and Liverpool is a city which is proud of our pioneering and innovative history as the front door to the commonwealth, including our caring and welcoming people, and a stunning world famous waterfront which was to be the centrepiece of our games.
“I’d like to offer my congratulations to Birmingham and wish them well going forwards.”