Wales politics

Commonwealth Games: Costs of Wales bid seemed skewed, say Plaid

Athletics at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Athletics at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games

Plaid Cymru has demanded that the Welsh Government explain why it believes that holding the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Wales would cost twice as much as the 2014 event in Glasgow.

On Tuesday ministers said a Welsh bid was not feasible after a study revealed costs of between £1.3bn and £1.5bn.

On Wednesday Plaid said ministers' estimates appeared to be "deliberately skewed" to appear more expensive.

Labour's Ken Skates said the figures were "based on a robust assessment".

The Commonwealth Games Federation had earlier said it was "surprised" by the figures provided by the Welsh Government.

In a letter to Economy Secretary Ken Skates, Shadow Sports Secretary Neil McEvoy said: "Given that the Commonwealth Games Federation has issued a statement seriously questioning your government's costing of £1.3bn to host the games, could you please issue your methodology and assumptions which underpin the feasibility study?

"The Glasgow games came in £32m under budget at £543m. Why would it cost more than double that figure to host the games in Wales?"

Speaking about the letter, Mr McEvoy called ministers' estimates "ambiguous at best" that seemed to have been "deliberately skewed to appear more expensive".

"That's why I want to see the detailed methodology behind these costs and proposals so that we can make an informed judgement of whether they are accurate - or whether we are being deliberately misled," he said.

But Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates said Plaid Cymru was not "comparing like with like", saying the figures were "based on a robust assessment of the total cost of delivery".

"They include the construction of necessary sporting facilities and additional infrastructure, the Games legacy, the delivery of all Wales benefits and the recommended contingency.

"Our understanding is that the Glasgow figure focuses solely on the operational delivery of the two week event."

The minister argued that a more accurate comparison would be the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, which he said had been widely quoted as being expected to cost more than $2bn in Australian dollars (£1.13bn).

Those games, he said, were "very much in line with our own projections".

Mr Skates added: "At the moment Plaid Cymru's economic strategy seems to consist of signing up to any project, regardless of cost or value for money and with no scrutiny of the long-term benefits to Wales.

"They need to get serious and develop a sense of responsibility."

Related Topics

More on this story