The cost of hosting the Olympic Torch

Hosting the Olympic Torch cost taxpayersin Luton and Dunstable £116,902 last year, a Freedom of Information request revealed on Monday.
Luton Olympic torch relay, from Stockwood Park to Popes meadow, all the runners.Luton Olympic torch relay, from Stockwood Park to Popes meadow, all the runners.
Luton Olympic torch relay, from Stockwood Park to Popes meadow, all the runners.

The Olympic Torch was carried through Luton on July 8, followed by an evening celebration attended by more than 12,000 people.

The torch left the town the following morning, carried by torchbearers including Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton and cost Luton council £67,000 in total.

It then travelled into Dunstable, where Central Bedfordshire Council spent £49,902 to host the flame across the county.

Luton Olympic torch relay, from Stockwood Park to Popes meadow, all the runners.Luton Olympic torch relay, from Stockwood Park to Popes meadow, all the runners.
Luton Olympic torch relay, from Stockwood Park to Popes meadow, all the runners.

A Luton Council spokesperson said: “This was a once in a lifetime opportunity which not only brought the community together like never before, but also the positive media coverage and the boost it gave the local economy was unprecedented.”

In the East Anglia region, only Peterborough spent more than Luton Council, with a bill of £134,034. The cheapest celebration was £1,246 in Northampton, although the torch did not stay there overnight, only passing through on the morning of July 2.

£3,500 was spent on park and ride, £20,000 on marketing and media, £5,000 on the artistic director, £7,020 on expenses to see off the torch in the morning, and £27,300 on production costs such as staffing and fencing.