Leeds is set to take its place in the national sporting spotlight once again after being confirmed as the host city for the UK Corporate Games 2024.
The event is the country’s largest multi-sport festival for businesses, with thousands of competitors from hundreds of companies coming together in a different city each year to network and build team spirit as they go for glory at everything from karting and golf to tennis and dragon boat racing.
And today organisers announced the success of a joint bid by Leeds City Council and the University of Leeds to host the Games in 2024.
Running from July 25 to 28, the event will be held at a range of venues across the city, including the John Charles Centre for Sport, Sports Park Weetwood and the Brownlee Centre.
The Games, it is hoped, will further strengthen the reputation of Leeds as a sporting heavyweight, with the city in recent times hosting high-profile occasions such as the AJ Bell World Triathlon Championship Series and the Westfield Health British Transplant Games as well as a number of fixtures at last year’s Rugby League World Cup.
Today’s announcement also comes as the LEEDS 2023 year of culture continues to burnish the city’s credentials as a place that can confidently deliver innovative, large-scale events which capture the public imagination and create magical lifelong memories.
Next summer’s Games are expected to generate more than £2m for the local economy and will showcase Leeds to visiting business people as an attractive option if their company is considering relocation or expansion.
Working alongside both the organisers and the university, the council will also use the insight it has gained from staging previous big events to produce a sustainability strategy designed to make these the most eco-friendly Games yet.
Doug White, director of the UK Corporate Games, said:
“We are delighted to announce that the city of Leeds will host the 2024 UK Corporate Games. We’re extremely excited to work closely with Leeds City Council and the University of Leeds to make this the best UK Corporate Games ever.
“Leeds is a fantastic city, and we know all our Games competitors and competing organisations will share our excitement. Leeds is one of the UK’s foremost cities for growing enterprises and we want to provide all businesses with the opportunity to get involved in this memorable event.
“The Games bring people and companies together from across the UK and Europe and provide businesses and their employees with an opportunity to team build, promote health and wellbeing through sport and network as well as promote their brand.”
Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s deputy leader and executive member for economy, culture and education, said:
“We’re delighted that Leeds has been chosen as the host city for the UK Corporate Games 2024. It’s a real feather in our cap, so thank you to the organisers for bringing it here and well done to all those from the council and the university who worked on the bid.
“I’m sure the event will be a great example of how sport can unite people and inspire them to reach their goals through determination, positivity and teamwork.
“It will also be a perfect opportunity to showcase Leeds’s strengths as both a passionate sporting city and a brilliant place to do business.
“Everyone involved can look forward to a typically warm Leeds welcome – roll on next summer and the start of the action!”
Rob Wadsworth, director of campus innovation at the University of Leeds, said:
“We’re delighted to be chosen as the hub for this fantastic city-wide festival that will bring people together from across the UK and Europe. Under the expert eye of our conferences and events team and supported by a range of services from across the university, I am confident we’ll help create one of the most memorable UK Corporate Games yet.
“Thanks to our unrivalled sports facilities, we are well versed at hosting prestigious sporting events including the Rugby League World Cup and the British Transplant Games. We look forward to working with partners across the city to add another respected event to this list with the UK Corporate Games!”
The Games are open to companies large and small, with an entry fee of £89 per person – or £80 per person for purchases made before the end of October.
Next year’s schedule is due to feature more than 20 sports, together with a welcome festival and a grand parade of athletes.
The Games are designed to be inclusive, with no minimum qualifying standards. Teams can be made up of a company’s employees and clients as well as family and friends.