Skip to main content

One of the many decision-makers involved in GL events UK’s delivery of infrastructure to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is James Gibson, Cluster 3 Manager. Renowned for his vibrant personality, James clearly holds undeniable enthusiasm for the project, as was discovered when he caught up to speak with GL events UK’s insider, Josie Frater.

James’ core responsibility is to oversee delivery to Cluster 3, which consists of outdoor sports venues, known as ‘Greenfield’ sites. His involvement extends to the installation and dismantle of infrastructure commodities. In layman’s terms, James describes his role akin to a Project Manager, liaising between GL events and its partners at the Organising Committee for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Naturally, The Commonwealth Games has an inherently influential impact on the communities involved, particularly as sport transcends cultural boundaries, unifying peoples from diverse backgrounds. The poignant mission of delivering – “a Games for everyone” – is a statement which GL events UK fully supports, not least through its own emphasis on social value. Working with various partners, GL events UK has its own agenda to leave a lasting positive legacy on the City of Birmingham and the wider West Midlands region.

Deliver above and beyond. That’s a very overused term, but it’s a real thing.

James GibsonCluster 3 Manager - GL events UK

James succinctly highlights his own interest in sport and how the Games is accessible for all. “People understand that The Commonwealth Games is a coming-together of nations through sporting competition. Sport has always played a big part in my life, so for me to be working on this project is a really big deal. Knowing how the Commonwealth Games operates and the cultural benefit it can provide within the community, that’s huge. In addition to the obvious sporting benefits, there’s so many positives that will arise within the arts and culture sectors too.”

It is no surprise that Birmingham 2022 is in partnership with GL events, as James, and other team members, acknowledge its revered status within the industry, “GL events has been around for some time, and it’s one of the leading companies dealing in the provision of temporary infrastructure. To be able to take part as a project manager – a senior role for The Commonwealth Games – is fantastic. We have a great team, full of great people.”

In terms of personal goals, James revealed true passion for the cause. “My primary goal is much the same as with any major event and that is to deliver as well as possible. When working with a client as prestigious as the Commonwealth Games, I strive to deliver above and beyond.” James went on to acknowelege that, “that’s a very overused phrase, but it’s a real thing. If you can be stood at the end of the project with the client, and client is thanking you for the work that’s been undertaken, that’s a really rewarding place to be. Knowing that at the start of an event, that’s what we’re aiming for, that’s what I’m aiming for – to get the best out of the project for ourselves and our partner.”

Of course, no major project is without challenges and James explained that it’s easy to underestimate a project of this size. “Within the wider challenge, there are lots of smaller challenges, and they come on a daily basis. It’s about overcoming them collaboratively, both with our client and our stakeholders, to ensure a smooth, synergistic approach to delivery.”

Given the chance to discuss his favourite parts of the project thus far, at first, this was difficult for James to answer. Clearly, there are many elements which he finds enjoyable and invigorating in the role: “Understanding and overcoming the challenges we face across sites on a daily basis, is massive. For instance, knowing that we’re delivering for the triathlon at Sutton Park, which is an area of scientific importance – and that we’re going to do that in such a way that we leave the site ‘without trace’, is a really big moment for myself and the team. It’s provides each of us with a sense of pride, knowing that we’re able to deliver the Commonwealth Games without impacting on the precious history of such areas.”

As you’ll discover throughout our candid interviews, pride and passion are common traits amongst the team. Each member has an innate understanding of the weight that this project carries, both in creating opportunities and providing long-lasting change for the West Midlands.

Keep your eyes peeled for more team interviews – coming soon!