Surrey

London 2012: Surrey councils to spend £260,500 on Olympic Torch relay

The Olympic Flame on the Torch Relay leg between Grantown-on-Spey and Tomintoul - Day 24
Image caption Huge crowds have greeted the Olympic torch as it makes its way around the UK

Councils across Surrey are preparing to spend up to £260,500 in total to celebrate the arrival of the Olympic torch in south-east England next month.

Figures obtained by the BBC show that Guildford Borough Council, which is holding a celebration in Stoke Park, is spending the most at £210,000.

Council leader Tony Rooth said 20 July would be "a very proud day".

Tandridge District Council is spending the smallest amount on the torch Relay at £1,500.

Elsewhere, Runnymede, Mole Valley, and Reigate and Banstead said they were preparing to spend between £6,000 and £20,000, while Waverley said it had a budget for about £4,000.

The costs will cover street decorations, road signs, entertainment and safety equipment.

'Historic event'

The figures were given to the BBC following a Freedom of Information request.

The Olympic torch began its 70-day tour of the UK ahead of the Games on 19 May in Land's End.

It arrives in Surrey on 10 July, passing through Egham, and then passes through Felbridge on 17 July.

It re-enters the county again in Godstone on 20 July, visiting Bletchingley, Redhill, Reigate, Dorking and Guildford Cathedral.

The day culminates in a free ticketed celebration event for 25,000 people in Stoke Park, Guildford, which will include entertainment, family activities and a live performance from Rizzle Kicks.

Chris Mansfield, head of economic development at Guildford Borough Council, said: "It's a historic event for Guildford and for the county and we need to get this right.

"So we're putting on one of the largest events across the county, and actually one of the largest events across the country, to celebrate the torch coming to Guildford."

He added: "We hope many, many thousands will come and see the torch on the day from Cathedral Hill right through to Stoke Park itself."

The torch arrives at the Olympic Games opening ceremony on 27 July.

Surrey Police has said it has a £2m budget to spend on the torch relay and the Olympic cycling road race, with the money coming from a Home Office grant.

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