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Olympic flame procession 'worth the £26,000'
11:00am Wednesday 19th September 2012 in News
New figures released by Bradford Council reveal the authority spent more than £26,000 on the Olympic flame’s journey through the Bradford district as part of its historic 8,000-mile trip around the UK.
More than 30,000 people lined the streets at City Park and Lister Park, with a further 20,000 people watching in both Keighley and Ilkley and 25,000 in Skipton , but a document revealed under the Freedom of Information Act shows the Council made no money from the celebrations.
The total cost of the flame’s tour of Bradford in June was £26,012.85 – including £14,698.15 on event infrastructure, with a further £7.204.70 on branding and £4,110 on activation costs.
Thomas Stokes, of Little Horton , who was nominated as a torchbearer by charity One In A Million, said while some may find the figure “excessive”, the event had inspired people in Bradford.
The voluntary worker, who carried the torch into City Park and performed the hand-over to star swimmer Jamie Brown as crowds of spectators cheered them on, said: “The Olympic torch was such an inspiration to have in Bradford and the people of Bradford deserved to see it.
“While £26,000 seems like a lot of money, I think something like that coming to your city and to see so many people on the streets – around 30,000 people and one of the largest crowds in Yorkshire – is fantastic.
“With the situation the Council is in, making cuts, some may say it was a little too much, but it was great to see so many people given the opportunity to see it in Bradford.”
The torch passed through Bradford on day 37 of its 70-day tour around the UK, which stopped at more than 1,000 communities on its way to London.
Council staff volunteered for the city’s events, with officers being offered time off in lieu to offset a direct cost to the authority.
The cost of policing the event is not yet known.
Councillor Andrew Thornton , the Council’s executive member for environment, sport and sustainability, said the torch relay had attracted “huge interest” from the public and had stepped up excitement before the games started.
He said: “The Council's emergency planning team worked hard to minimise the cost of the event which was supported by a significant number of volunteers who helped with crowd control and marshalling on the day.”