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Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund have awarded £3 million each to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games as major funding partners of the cultural festival.

The funding is a major boost to the Games’ cultural festival, which will run for six months from March – September 2022 and is expected to reach 2.5m people via a range of high-profile events and participatory projects.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games cultural festival will include:

  • 29 headline artistic commissions showcasing the region’s creativity across arts and heritage. Commissioned projects will also explore the diversity of communities from across the region
  • Six themed Open Calls seeking ideas from local artists and organisations, leading to a further 28 commissioned projects
  • Funding more than 200 cultural and creative commissions and projects
  • Investment in 450 artists and creatives with 90% of commissioned work from people based in or originally from the West Midlands

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games chief creative officer Martin Green CBE said the funding has helped the organisation get halfway to its income target for the festival: “Whilst there is plenty more work to do, we are optimistic that we can now welcome more funders to the region, who share our ambitious aims.

“As a direct result of the awards, the culture team will begin to commission projects, launch Open Calls and support artists and heritage-makers to develop their ideas for 2022.”

Oliver Dowden, secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport added, “This investment will help showcase the fantastic art, history and culture of the West Midlands off to the world. 2022 will be a year of national celebration for the UK and the Commonwealth Games’ cultural programme will allow the region’s diversity and creativity to play a key role in our recovery from the pandemic – driving tourism, investment and cultural renewal.”