Liver­pool cries foul over 2022 Games ‘stitch-up’ Mayor queries £165m award to help pay for ath­letes’ vil­lage

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Tom Dare Lo­cal Democ­racy Re­porter

THE mayor of Liver­pool has called the bid­ding process for the Com­mon­wealth Games a “stitch-up” af­ter the Govern­ment awarded £165 mil­lion to Birm­ing­ham to help build the Ath­letes’ Vil­lage.

Last week it was an­nounced that the Govern­ment would be putting the money to­wards the cost of the vil­lage to be built in Perry Barr for the 2022 Games.

How­ever, the le­git­i­macy of the bid­ding process for the Games has been called into ques­tion by Joe An­der­son, the mayor of Liver­pool who were ri­vals to stage the Games.

Mr An­der­son claimed the in­ter­view­ing panel ques­tioned Liver­pool’s abil­ity to raise the funds to host the Games, yet now the Govern­ment has an­nounced a huge in­vest­ment in Birm­ing­ham.

“The panel in­ter­view­ing for Com­mon­wealth Games 2022 ques­tioned our abil­ity to fund Ath­letes Vil­lage funded by the city,” he said in a tweet.

“Now the Tory Govern­ment is to fund Ath­letes Vil­lage in Birm­ing­ham to the tune of £165 mil­lion. “This was clearly a stitch-up.” In re­sponse, a De­part­ment for Dig­i­tal, Cul­ture, Me­dia and Sport spokesper­son said that Birm­ing­ham’s bid had al­ways made it clear that they would be seek­ing Govern­ment fund­ing for the Ath­letes’ Vil­lage.

He added that Birm­ing­ham was sim­ply cho­sen as it made a stronger of­fer than Liver­pool.

“Birm­ing­ham’s bid was se­lected fol­low­ing a rig­or­ous and ro­bust as­sess­ment process,” he said.

Speak­ing at the Con­ser­va­tive Party Con­fer­ence in Birm­ing­ham’s ICC last week, Com­mu­ni­ties Sec­re­tary James Bro­ken­shire said: “In 2022 Birm­ing­ham will host the Com­mon­wealth Games. It will pro­vide the plat­form for this great city to shine on a global stage. The chance to drive eco­nomic po­ten­tial. The chance to cre­ate a sense of pride – not just in this city but our coun­try as a whole.

“I’m proud to an­nounce the Govern­ment fund­ing for the con­struc­tion of the Ath­letes’ Vil­lage.

“We will in­vest £165 mil­lion to help sup­port 5,000 new homes, but just as im­por­tantly, cre­ate a long-last­ing legacy for Birm­ing­ham.”

> Joe An­der­son led Liver­pool’s ri­val bid for the Com­mon­wealth Games

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