There was a small but bright light at the end of a long tunnel for our district this week, with the announcement of major funding to support hosting the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in Royal Leamington Spa.
A sum of almost £1.8 million has been awarded by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, for a series of infrastructure improvement projects to be put in place ahead of Victoria Park’s role as an official venue for Lawn Bowls and Para Bowls competitions in summer 2022.
Despite the current challenging circumstances, Warwick District Council is keen to progress a number of schemes and projects in conjunction with local partners including Warwickshire County Council, Chiltern Railways and Network Rail.;
Warwick District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Culture, Councillor Moira-Ann Grainger commented: “In these unprecedented and extremely worrying times for the District’s businesses the Council’s priority is to assist with the current emergency situation. However, over the coming months we will also be working on a number of ambitious infrastructure schemes with the aim of boosting and securing jobs in our local economy and ensuring that competitors and spectators visiting Royal Leamington Spa in 2022 have transport and facilities which are truly world-class.”
The Leader of Warwick District Council, Councillor Andrew Day added: “The clock continues to count down the days until athletes and visitors from across the Commonwealth will visit for an exciting fortnight of international competition and community celebrations in 2022. While this Council’s immediate priority is our response to the coronavirus pandemic, we have not lost sight of securing a lasting legacy from hosting the Commonwealth Games in Royal Leamington Spa by helping to provide more sustainable transport options for the benefit of future generations.”
Nick Abell, the interim chair of the CWLEP, said: “The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will put Royal Leamington Spa on the global stage with thousands of spectators arriving at the town’s railway station. It is proposed that the allocation from the Local Growth Fund will be used to improve the public realm space and areas around Leamington Spa Railway Station as well as enhance wayfinding for visitors linking the station to Victoria Park and town centre. The funding will also enhance the existing bowling greens and buildings within Victoria Park to provide world-class facilities for players, officials and visitors alike.”
Further details of the infrastructure projects will be announced in the coming months.