Stoke and Huddersfield papers report on torch relay costs

Stoke Olympic torch relay costs

The Stoke Sentinel and Huddersfield Examiner have reported on Freedom of Information requests from Help Me Investigate about torch relay spending.

This is Staffordshire report on the £189,730 cost of the relay to Stoke-on-Trent City Council, while The Huddersfield Daily Examiner’s Linda Whitwam asks “Was [the £56,000 cost] worth it?”

Both flesh out the figures with quotes from participants, spectators and councillors – but little new information about the background to the varying spending figures, or any negotiations with Olympic organisers LOCOG. One new piece of information to emerge, however, is the claim by Stoke-on-Trent Councillor Paul Shotton that the relay “boosted the local economy by £298,000.”

It’s not clear where the cabinet member for commissioning, procurement and finance got the figure from. With 26,000 “attracted onto the streets of the city” according to Shotton, the boost represents a spend of £11.46 per person.

Similar claims have been made elsewhere: Cornwall Council claimed an incredible £3.77million “potential” boost to the economy six months after the event, and Dorset said the relay would give their region a £3million boost.

In contrast, a report by sponsors Lloyds Bank said the Olympic Torch Relay:

“is not estimated to generate any additional expenditure from people lining the torch route, due to its goal of travelling to within 10 miles of 95% of the UK population. However, some of the 66 evening celebrations are likely to attract large crowds who will purchase transport tickets, food, beverages, and souvenirs.

Do you want to help find out how these figures were arrived at?

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