The Culture Secretary has thanked the people of the East Midlands for their welcome of the Olympic Flame on its journey around the UK.
The Olympic Torch has spent six days travelling around the region, taking in key cities such as Lincoln, Nottingham, Derby and Leicester. It also visited Loughborough University; the home of Team GB’s training camp.
Jeremy Hunt said:
“The Torch has had a fantastic reception in the East Midlands. Local people turned out in their thousands to welcome the Torch and cheer on the local heroes carrying it.
“The very best of the East Midlands – from Chatsworth to the Peak District to Lincoln – has been on show to a global audience. I hope this will bring lasting economic benefits to the region.
“I would like to thank everyone in the East Midlands who made the Torch relay such a great success.”
As a way of marking the event, an image of Burghley House, near Stamford, has been chosen to illustrate GREAT, the international tourism campaign.
Jeff Moore, the chairman of the Nations and Regions Group in the East Midlands, commented:
“In the region we have been working hard for the last five years on Games-inspired activity and, for the last two in particular, on the Olympic Torch Relay. It is great to see the fantastic response from schools, communities and the general public right across the East Midlands.
“We are delighted to have many athletes from Team GB training at Loughborough University and I look forward to a great summer of Olympic and Paralympic related events and activities.”
During the Olympic Torch’s six day tour of the East Midlands, it covered more than 420 miles. Some of the highlights of the relay included:
- The Torch being lifted into the sky by jet pack at the National Space Centre;
- Olympians Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean skating with the Torch at Nottingham’s National Ice Centre;
- TV presenter and former Leicester City and England footballer, Gary Lineker, carrying the Torch in Leicester;
- Visiting stately homes such as Burghley and Chatsworth;
- Travelling in a cable car in the Peak District.
The Torch may be leaving the region but people across the East Midlands are working to make sure the magic of London 2012 lives on in a variety of local projects inspired by the Games.
- The team at Loughborough University developing a nationwide “Flames: Lighting The Way” programme to encourage young people to get healthy;
- Police officers in Nottingham taking part in the Ridewise initiative, working with disadvantaged youngsters to get them cycling, even lending their police bikes for them to practice on;
- The community football team of Ashbourne FC, who are going to reclaim derelict land, and create a full-sized football pitch.
Notes to Editors
- The GREAT image can be accessed at: http://goc2012.culture.gov.uk/flickr/east-midlands-great-campaign/
- The “GREAT” campaign is designed to promote the UK abroad, and aims to deliver long-term economic benefits from the unprecedented level of interest generated by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The campaign aims to attract more than 4.6 million extra visitors to the UK by 2014.
- Read background and see the key facts about the GREAT campaign on our website.
- The Nations and Regions Group (NRG) is a joint team established by the London 2012 Organising Committee and the Government Olympic Executive, with a group in every nation and region. Each member of the NRG chairs a task force bringing together representatives of interested parties across their nation or region to help make the most of the Games in that area.
- View and embed our Tripline map following the torch relay around the UK: http://bit.ly/KvSTv0
- The Government Olympic Communication (GOC) provides an integrated press office service on behalf of all UK Government Departments and Agencies from the arrival of the Olympic Torch on 18 May to the end of the Paralympic Games on 9 September. Visit our news website at www.goc2012.culture.gov.uk or follow us on Twitter @2012govpress. For media enquiries call 020 7211 1700