A bid to host a new festival of running in Birmingham is being prepared which could provide a huge boost to the city’s tourism economy.
Birmingham City Council’s cabinet is being asked to approve the submission of a bid for the World Athletics Road Running Championships in 2023 or 2024 and earmark £1.5 million for the event.
A new report prepared for councillors said the economic benefits could exceed the £4.2 million generated by the annual Birmingham Great Run half marathon.
The World Athletics Road Running Championships is a brand new event which will launch in 2023 and incorporate the World Half Marathon Championships alongside mass participation races in a festival format.
Events would include half marathons and 5km runs for elite men and women alongside a children’s race, Parkrun Global Festival, running expo, conference and corporate business challenge.
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The festival would be intended to “build on the legacy of hosting the Commonwealth Games” and support an increased take up of running in the city.
Birmingham City Council’s cabinet is due to meet next Tuesday to discuss the possible bid and, if approved, it would be submitted this month ahead of a decision by the World Athletics Council in July for both the 2023 and 2024 events.
The cabinet report said: “The World Athletics Road Running Championships will put Birmingham in the spotlight and enhance our reputation for delivering world-class sporting events.
“It will build on the Birmingham 2022 legacy and would add to the World Blind Games and World Tumbling and Trampolining Events being held in 2023.
“It will be broadcast worldwide and have over 17,000 participants and 28,000 spectators. The event aligns well with the post-covid recovery of the city centre, bringing large numbers of participants and spectators into the city.
“The direct economic impact will be calculated as part of the full submission but will exceed the £4.2 million generated by the Birmingham Great Run deriving spend in the areas of accommodation, retail and food and beverage.
“Industries most impacted by covid (hospitality and retail) will benefit most from the economic impacts of the event.
“Estimated indirect economic impact (long-term tourism) has been set at £5.46 million.”