Black Country Festival awarded £365k of legacy funding

Beverley Knight and Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, celebrate Black Country Day 2023

Black Country Festival bosses are celebrating after being awarded £365,000 of Commonwealth Games legacy funding.

They join eight other cultural and sporting events set to take place in the West Midlands who have shared £3 million of Commonwealth Games legacy funding to help bring hundreds of thousands of people together in the region.

Responding to the news, Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, said: “We very much welcome this funding.

“For several years the Black Country Festival has been key in bringing people together and creating great pride, with the flag being flown all over the world and seen at high profile music and sporting events.

“This money will allow us in difficult financial times to continue to put on popular events like the Black Country Musicom, which celebrate who we are and where we come from.

“There will be further exciting announcements in due course – but it should mean that this year will be the biggest and best Black Country Festival yet.”

The Black Country Festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year.

Giving an estimated £11.5 million boost to the local economy, almost 700,000 competitors, performers and spectators are expected to attend the events in 2024 and 2025 to celebrate the region’s rich and diverse sporting, music and cultural heritage.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and the UK Government is supporting the organisers with money from the £70 million Games underspend which is being reinvested back into the region.

The events that are to receive this funding are:

  • ESL One - Dota II esports tournament (£145,000)
  • European Judo Union Junior Cup (£250,000)
  • Black Country Festival (£365,000)
  • Godiva Festival ‘Worldwide Welcome’ (£500,000)
  • Reggae Fever - Celebration of Caribbean Culture (£250,000)
  • Birmingham Weekender Festival (£350,000)
  • SuperDome esports tournament (£250,000)
  • West Midlands Urban Sports (£390,000)
  • Kabaddi World Cup (£500,000)

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair, said: “It was always our intention that the Commonwealth Games should leave a lasting legacy far beyond the sporting spectacle - as wonderful as that was.

“With this £3 million of Games legacy funding, we’re turning words into action. This money will help us to host the Kabaddi World Cup and will support the organisers of well-established local events such as the Godiva Festival in Coventry, Birmingham Weekender and the Black Country Festival - alongside some new events.

“Collectively, this backing will bring in hundreds of thousands of people to our region, give a welcome boost to local businesses and provide valuable jobs and volunteering opportunities for local people. I look forward to seeing the difference this support makes on the ground and celebrating all that is great about the West Midlands in the months and years ahead.”

Sports Minister Stuart Andrew said: “The record-breaking Commonwealth Games in Birmingham was a great success, bringing in millions of pounds to the local economy, and £870 million gross value added to the wider UK economy. This Government's aim is to make sure Birmingham's legacy is felt in the region for years to come.

"From a celebration of Caribbean Culture in Coventry to a judo competition in Walsall, hundreds of thousands of people will directly benefit from these diverse legacy projects across the West Midlands thanks to the £70 million Games underspend."

The effective organisation and delivery of the Commonwealth Games meant the event came in under budget. Following discussions between the Mayor and the WMCA’s local authority partners the UK Government has decided to invest the remaining £70 million into the region to enhance the legacy of the Games and ensure the benefits continue their positive impact for many years to come.

Businesses and community groups can find out more about how to benefit from the WMCA’s Commonwealth Games Legacy Enhancement Fund on the WMCA's website.


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