With finance a key sticking point in Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games bid, the UK city is looking at a funding solution to break the deadlock in negotiations
With finance a key sticking point in Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games bid, the UK city is looking at a funding solution to break the deadlock in negotiations.
It could therefore be the first city in the UK to implement a hotel tax to help fund the 2022 Games.
Birmingham city council has been discussing the option with the government in order to secure host status.
These charges are common in other tourist hotspots in countries such as Spain and Italy, but have never been introduced in Britain.
The bid is being coordinated locally and Birmingham’s Labour cabinet meets on December 8, 2017 to consider potential changes.
The region’s Local Enterprise Partnerships and West Midlands Combined Authority, along with private investors, have proffered the majority of the local finance so far.
The council has insisted it will not divert money from its revenue budget, meant for funding of day-to-day services, to host the Games, and suggests a hotel tax could make up the shortfall.
Birmingham is the only city to submit a full bid, though there has also been interest from cities in Australia, Canada and Malaysia.
The Commonwealth Games Federation’s executive board has yet to make a decision, wanting to ensure the elected host city can organise the event in a short four-year time frame.
It follows the removal of the host role from Durban, South Africa, when finances for the project consistently did not add up.
CGF President Louise Martin said that the selection was close to being decided and should be made by the end of 2017.
Games bid Chairman and Council Leader Ian Ward said: “Birmingham, the Government and Commonwealth Games England are continuing to have productive discussions with the Commonwealth Games Federation as we enter the final stages of what has been a collaborative and positive process within a challenging timeframe.
“It’s a hugely significant decision and we welcome the robustness of the process.
“All our efforts have been focused on demonstrating that Birmingham would make the ideal host for the 2022 Games.
“We look forward to a decision from the CGF in the near future.”