Almost half of the population engaged with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, a poll has found ©Getty Images

A poll has claimed that almost half of the United Kingdom population tuned in for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, with the event also creating tens of thousands jobs and skills opportunities for local people.

Research conducted by market research organisation Ipsos on behalf of the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, found that 46 per cent of people watched the competition on television, followed online or took part in Birmingham 2022 events.

The findings highlighted that the Games drew an overall audience on television, online or in person of more than 20 million approximately from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as hundreds of millions more also watching the event globally.

Five million people visited Birmingham City Centre across the two weeks of the Games, a 200 per cent increase from the previous year.

The reported entitled Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games: The Highlights also showed that two in three people from Birmingham and the surrounding area engaged with Birmingham 2022, while a quarter of those participating in the questionnaire said they watched the Queen’s Baton Relay in-person in the city.

The multi-sport event also created 40,000 jobs and skills opportunities, including 17,000 volunteer positions, for those in the area.

Jobs and Skills Academy alone invested £10 million ($11.5 million/€11.6 million) to train unemployed residents to ensure they took advantage of the Games being on their doorstep.

Birmingham City Centre attracted millions of people during the two-week multi-sport competition ©Getty Images
Birmingham City Centre attracted millions of people during the two-week multi-sport competition ©Getty Images

This impact is signified by six in 10 of the people polled from Birmingham and Sandwell saying that the Commonwealth Games has had a positive economic impact on the area, through its support to the local economy increasing its stature across the UK and overseas.

Fifty-eight per cent also believe that the Games will have improved the perceptions of the area while one in 10 suggested it will not.

A total of £778 million ($896 million/€902.1 million) of public investment has contributed to developing Birmingham, the West Midlands and other areas, with the Alexander Stadium and Sandwell Aquatics Centre symbolising legacy venues.

Up to 5,000 new homes, backed by a £150 million ($172.7 million/€174 million) Government investment, were also created in relation to the Games.

An excess of £85 million ($98 million/€99 million) additional funding from public and third sectors has also been unlocked thanks to the public investment, including Sport England injecting £35 million ($40.3 million/€40.6 million) to create a physical activity legacy.

Sporting equipment from boxing gloves and mixed martial arts mats to basketballs are also planned to be given to local sports groups and clubs across the region.

Ian Ward, left, said he was
Ian Ward, left, said he was "convinced" the Commonwealth Games was more than about sport ©Birmingham City Council

"This is precisely why I championed bringing the Games to Birmingham for so long," said Ian Ward, the leader of Birmingham City Council.

"When people questioned whether we could afford to host the Commonwealth Games, I was always convinced that we simply couldn't afford not to do it.

"The Games were about so much more than 11 days of world-class sport.

"They delivered homes, jobs, transport improvements, cultural opportunities and a collective sense of pride.

"The people, communities and businesses of Birmingham rose brilliantly to the challenge and together we hosted an unforgettable festival of sport, culture, hospitality, and sheer unbridled enjoyment."

You can read the full findings from the report here.