Hopes for Olympic torch to visit area

HOPES are high that the Olympic Flame relay will be heading through the Scarborough area after the overnight stops were announced yesterday.

Although the final route will not be officially announced until next month scheduled overnight stops in Middlesbrough and Hull suggested the possibility of the route passing through the borough.

Scarborough Council has submitted a bid which proposed the suitability for the area to be included on the route.

Cllr Derek Bastiman, who has been involved in the bid process, said he was keeping everything crossed for Scarborough to be included.

He said: “I’d hope the work that we’ve done – working alongside Yorkshire Gold the regional office for the Olympics – I am hopeful that we will be successful in taking it through some part of the borough.

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. It is still to be announced but I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will give residents the chance to carry the torch through the borough.”

Cllr David Jeffels, the council’s portfolio holder for tourism, said he would be absolutely delighted if the flame did pass through the area.

He said: “Scarborough is an internationally recognised holiday town and we are the oldest seaside resort in Britain.

“It’d be a real accolade for Scarborough and we’d warmly welcome the torch coming into the area. I am certain that the people in Scarborough would give it a wonderful welcome.”

The torch is due to arrive in the UK in May 2012 and its journey will begin at Land’s End in Cornwall.

It will stop in Middlesbrough on June 17, Hull on June 18 and York on June 19 during its journey across the length and breadth of the British Isles.

The search is now on for 8,000 torchbearers and organisers said that 7,200 of them would be members of the public nominated by people who know them.

But yesterday it was revealed that almost 6,000 of the places would be distributed by three of the London Olympic’s corporate sponsors.