British Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston wants to see more major events held outside of London as Birmingham prepares to host this year's Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images

British Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston has backed Birmingham to stage further major events after this year’s Commonwealth Games with the World Athletics Championships among those that could be under consideration.

Huddleston has stressed the need to get "full bang for the buck" from the venues that are set to be used when the Games open here in 100 days’ time.

The Alexander Stadium will host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies as well as the track and field competitions during Birmingham 2022 following its £72.4million ($97.9 million/€80.3 million) redevelopment.

Huddleston admitted that the British Government would be "willing" to discuss the possibility of a bid to bring the World Athletics Championships to the venue in Perry Barr that has the ability to be expanded to a capacity of 30,000 with the addition of temporary seating.

The determination to hold major sporting events across Britain was outlined in the UK Sport’s strategic plan published last year and Huddleston has emphasised the importance of holding competitions outside London.

The Alexander Stadium has undergone a huge redevelopment for the Commonwealth Games, making it suitable to stage other major events ©Birmingham 2022
The Alexander Stadium has undergone a huge redevelopment for the Commonwealth Games, making it suitable to stage other major events ©Birmingham 2022

"We have got world class facilities [in Birmingham] now," said Huddleston.

"There are good facilities already in Birmingham, but this will enhance those opportunities.

"You will be familiar with the Gold Framework [in terms of] what events we will look for in the future and try to get a good pipeline going.

"You will be aware of the expression of interest for 2028 [UEFA European Championship], but actually there are a lot sporting events, athletics being a perennial popular one so I think we are in a good position for that.

"I can’t make any promises at the moment, but we are working with governing bodies as well as Birmingham City Council and others to see how we can work with them collaboratively in the future to get the full bang for the buck out of these fantastic events."

Asked whether the Government would get behind a Birmingham bid to host the World Athletics Championships, Huddleston said: "I think they could and we would be willing to discuss that.

"Let’s focus on delivering these Games first of all.

"We want to make sure that we get full leverage of these amazing venues and actually the flexibility of the Alexander Stadium is quite incredible.

"The way it has been built to be able to put in some of those temporary stands certainly gives it the potential and is in the consideration for Games that it wasn’t previously, so I would be very keen to explore those things.

"We are always looking at the future path of the major sporting events.

"We want to have more, it is part of the Government, so it’s definitely on the cards."

The Alexander Stadium held its first Diamond League meeting in 2011 and is scheduled to stage another as a test event for the Commonwealth Games.

Birmingham has previously held the World Athletics Indoor Championships in 2003 and 2018 at the National Indoor Arena (NIA).

But London is the only city in Britain that has played host to World Athletics’ flagship outdoor event in 2017.

Three-time Olympic bronze medallist Kelly Sotherton of Britain has backed Birmingham to launch a bid for a future World Athletics Championships, describing it as the "home of athletics".

The Alexander Stadium is being expanded into a 30,000-seater venue in time for the Commonwealth Games, scheduled to run from July 28 to August 8, before reverting to 18,000 capacity after the event.

Birmingham has already expressed interest in holding the World Athletics Road Running Championships in 2023 or 2024.

Huddleston said staging major events outside of London was part of the Government’s "levelling up" agenda that aims to spread opportunities more equally across Britain.

"I really want to make sure that the Alex is used to its full potential in the future," added Huddleston.

"It is a great stadium.

"London has got great facilities as well, but when it comes to hosting major international events and indeed tourism we need to have a London plus strategy and make sure that a lot of time and attention and energy in tourism and indeed sporting events is also outside of London where we have also got the most amazing facilities.

"The investment in Birmingham is quite incredible and we need to make sure that we support these other areas of the country outside of London."

The House of Commons Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport published last month the findings of an inquiry that raised concerns over the long-term future of the Alexander Stadium.

The Committee, chaired by Solihull’s Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) Julian Knight and which included MPs from across the country, visited Birmingham as the part of its inquiry and met Games organisers, including Birmingham 2022 chief executive Ian Reid.

But Huddleston has dismissed the Committee’s concerns, accusing them of being "overly critical".

"There were some valid points made and I take those on board but I disagree with their conclusions," added Huddleston