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.
Earlier this week it was announced that the government would be putting £165 million towards the building of the Athletes’ Village in Perry Barr ahead of the 2022 games.
Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference on Monday, 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 today 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 and from the Commonwealth Games.”
However, the legitimacy of the bidding process for the Games has been called into question by Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson.
Liverpool was also in the running to host the games after Durban announced its withdrawal last year, with Birmingham eventually running out as winners.
And he claims that the interviewing panel questioned Liverpool’s ability to raise the funds to host the Games, despite the fact that the government has now announced a huge investment in Birmingham to help facilitate them.
“Panel interviewing for Commonwealth Games 2022 questioned our ability to fund Athletes Village funded by City,” he said in a tweet.
“Now 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.
They 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, carried out by an independent assessment panel alongside a team of officials from the DCMS,” the spokesperson said.
“Birmingham’s bid was seen as offering a stronger proposition when measured against the set criteria, including the city’s vision, concept and plans for the Games, looking at aspects including the sports programme, legacy and venues.
“We are extremely thankful to the hard work that both Birmingham and Liverpool put into their respective bids for the Games.”