'We Have Lost Showcase Our a Golden Opportunity to Nation on a Global Stage' the Welsh Government Needs to Revisit Its Decision Not to Bid to Host the 2026 Commonwealth Games, Based on a Deeper Analysis of Projected Costs and Return on Investment for the Economy, Argues Plaid Cymru's Shadow Minister for Finance and the Economy Adam Price

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), August 3, 2016 | Go to article overview

'We Have Lost Showcase Our a Golden Opportunity to Nation on a Global Stage' the Welsh Government Needs to Revisit Its Decision Not to Bid to Host the 2026 Commonwealth Games, Based on a Deeper Analysis of Projected Costs and Return on Investment for the Economy, Argues Plaid Cymru's Shadow Minister for Finance and the Economy Adam Price


THE decision taken by the Labour Welsh Government to abandon a Welsh bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games is disappointing for a range of reasons - not least the timing of the announcement during the summer recess when AMs are unable to scrutinise the decision.

Without Assembly scrutiny and debate of the decision, it's possible that our athletes have been denied the chance to compete at a home Games and Wales has lost an invaluable opportunity to showcase the best of our great nation on a global stage.

The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow was a success.

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Held in the summer of 2014, the Glasgow Games attracted an estimated 690,000 people to the city, with a total visitor spend reported as over PS280m and an estimated 1.5 billion audience worldwide - a significant boost to "brand Scotland".

The evaluation of the legacy of the Glasgow Games by the Scottish Government in 2015 details how preparation for, and delivery of, the 2014 Games supported substantial economic activity.

Overall they are estimated to have contributed up to PS740m to Scotland's GVA in gross terms, and approximately PS390m to Glasgow's GVA specifically between 2007-14.

It also points to evidence that the Games provided a labour market boost, with more than 11,000 young people across Scotland benefiting from the range of national and local employability programmes implemented in association with the Games, and an estimated average of 2,100 jobs per year nationally, and 1,200 jobs per year in Glasgow specifically, supported during the period 2007-14. The report notes clear economic benefits for Scottish businesses. A total of PS669m worth of tier-one contracts were awarded, with 63% awarded to Glasgow-based companies and a further 13% to organisations based elsewhere in Scotland.

Such estimates capture the economic impact up to 2014 only, with the likelihood of a considerable longer-term economic impact from the investment in Gamesrelated infrastructure. For example, the Scottish Government's evaluation report listed 45 national and international events that had already been secured using the Games infrastructure, estimating an economic impact of over PS18.5m.

There is no reason why the benefits for Wales of a Welsh Commonwealth Games could not be as great as those secured by the Glasgow Games.

Wales is a proud sporting nation, as recently demonstrated by both our footballers and fans at Euro 2016, and as such it is a shame that a Welsh bid to host the 2026 Games was not pursued in a similar spirit.

As an explanation, the Welsh Government argued that the cost of hosting the Games, coupled with the economic uncertainty following the vote to leave the European Union made it impossible to support a Welsh bid.

Not only is this explanation out of sync with the First Minister's recent article where he claimed "Wales is booming, we cannot let Brexit derail us", but the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) itself has questioned the Government's costings.

CGF officials said they were "surprised" that the price of the Games had been placed at between PS1. …

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'We Have Lost Showcase Our a Golden Opportunity to Nation on a Global Stage' the Welsh Government Needs to Revisit Its Decision Not to Bid to Host the 2026 Commonwealth Games, Based on a Deeper Analysis of Projected Costs and Return on Investment for the Economy, Argues Plaid Cymru's Shadow Minister for Finance and the Economy Adam Price
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