Marco Longhi MP: “Black country people must not be forgotten in the commonwealth games legacy

On Thursday, the House of Commons had its third reading of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill, which will finalise sign off for funding and other measures ahead of the games taking place in 2022.  

Member of Parliament for Dudley North, Marco Longhi, highlighted the fantastic opportunity the games will bring to the region with some £750 million earmarked for investment. The Birmingham Commonwealth Games could leave a transformational legacy for the whole region for many years to come.  

The Games provide an incredible opportunity to add an additional 41,000 jobs and it is Marco Longhi’s ambition that as many of these jobs as possible come to Dudley and the Black Country. Dudley and Black Country has suffered disproportionately from an industrial legacy and the effects of globalisation with so many jobs offshored to China and other places.  The Games are a meaningful tool to level up and support the swathes of people who have quite simply been forgotten about over the last few decades.  

Marco Longhi, Member of Parliament for Dudley North, said:  

Birmingham is so often described as the beating heart of the Midlands, and I think many people will understand and some possibly even accept this characterisation. However, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t point out that a heart can only function if its arteries are working, so Dudley, Walsall, Sandwell and Wolverhampton must be integral to the functionality of this heart.  
I was driven into politics, not to just stand in the Chamber and offer platitudes and words of hope, but to have a chance to help change lives, and to play a part in delivering very real benefits to our fantastic area. 

The Black Country needs help, and it needed help before the onslaught of COVID-19. The region has the potential to benefit from this once in a lifetime opportunity. The Games cannot solve the complex generational problem, but it can provide a stepping stone for change, hope and recovery if opportunities are intelligently targeted to the right people.”