Date:Wednesday May 24 2006
The Casino Advisory Panel has today published the provisional shortlist of successful proposals for a regional casino from cities across the UK.
The Council's flawed decision not to submit a bid on behalf of Birmingham, but to support a bid on behalf of Solihull means that the Midlands does not appear anywhere on it.
Having tirelessly campaigned on behalf of the region with help from supporters, local businesses, and a petition of over 50,000 signatures, Birmingham City Football Club is utterly disappointed that Birmingham is now well and truly out of the running in the competition for a regional casino and the limitless and potential opportunities it would have opened up.
Yet again, leading UK cities, Manchester, Cardiff and Glasgow are amongst the eight successful proposals that will now be taken forward to the next step of evaluation and Birmingham has missed out.
Despite the efforts and words of warning to Birmingham City Council concerning the utterly stupid decision not to submit a bid, but to plough on with the flawed joint application with Solihull, the Birmingham Sports Village was snubbed for a site-specific location in Solihull, as opposed to a broader location in Birmingham.
'As we quite rightly anticipated, the NEC project has been rejected and there is absolutely no opportunity for Birmingham to be chosen in its own right,' said Blues' Managing Director, Karren Brady.
'I have claimed all along this would be a travesty for the region if we missed out and I am so saddened that this is now the case.
'We have lost a once-in-a-lifetime chance to catapult this region into a true international destination.
'We have now lost the opportunity to regenerate an inner city area, create thousands of jobs, homes, wealth and generate a huge economic boost for the city.
'The Birmingham Sports Village would have done this and without a shadow of a doubt it represented the strongest bid for the area and one that I am sure could have won on a national level.
'It cannot be said that the Government has snubbed the Midlands; we snubbed ourselves, as an application for Birmingham was never submitted.
'It was foolish to believe that the Midlands could win it when Birmingham never applied.
'Birmingham City Council's appalling decision not to submit an application that would have had a huge impact on the city and region, today and in the future, was based on a short-term solution to support the ailing NEC and not on the long-term benefits for the people of this city.
'With no back up plan considered or in place and a distinct lack of foresight from the City Council cabinet, the City of Birmingham has yet again missed out and sadly we have to wonder if we have a council worthy of running our city, as slowly their decisions drain us of our second city status.'
Source: Official Site
With Midlands' football as a whole suffering a somewhat disasterous season as least we can take solice in the fact that our astounding, and forward thinking Council can't possibly be as bad as our neighbouring hero Mr Ellis. Whilst other cities move forward and take advantage of whatever scheme they can cling to in an effort to improve the area I can't find fault with anything in the statement from the club. The decision to not even attempt a sole bid from Birmingham is ludicrous and although no apology from the Council will be forthcoming, they certainly owe us one.
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