Birmingham has been selected as the preferred UK candidate city for a potential bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
A business case must now be pulled together, showing clear value for taxpayers money to receive Government funding towards an official bid.
The decision comes after an independent assessment panel and officials from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport made the recommendation for Birmingham to MPs. Liverpool also bid for the opportunity.
The Government will now make a final decision, in consultation with Commonwealth Games England, if the UK will submit a formal bid to the Commonwealth Games Federation, with Birmingham as the proposed candidate city.
If Birmingham’s bid passes this final stage of assessment then a formal bid will be submitted to the Commonwealth Games Federation in the coming weeks.
Sports Minister, Tracey Crouch said: “I am grateful to the bid teams from both Birmingham and Liverpool for their hard work in making the case for their respective cities as potential Commonwealth Games hosts.
“Now, after a comprehensive assessment process, the Government will look at the final bid proposal from Birmingham and decide if a formal bid will be submitted to the Commonwealth Games Federation. We need to be completely satisfied that the bid offers overall value for money from hosting the Games and that a strong economic and sporting legacy can be delivered from it.
“The UK has fantastic expertise in hosting the biggest events in sport, as recently showcased at the London 2017 World Para Athletics and IAAF World Championships, and if we are to bid and are selected to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022 I have no doubt that Birmingham would host an excellent sporting spectacle.”
Birmingham’s bid was considered particularly strong on its management of risk, its existing venue infrastructure and its plans for a long-term sporting legacy.
Cllr Ian Ward, deputy leader and chair of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bid Committee, said: “This is a great endorsement by the UK Government of Birmingham’s credentials to host the Games and recognition of the city’s resolve to deliver a memorable event.
“We appreciate that it was a very close decision and that Liverpool pushed us all the way with a very compelling proposal. This is not the end of the journey and we look forward to working with the Government as it makes its final decision to support a UK Candidate City.”