MORPETH will be joining next year’s Olympics party.
It has been announced by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Locog) that the town will be one of the places taking part in the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.
The flame will travel through a total of 17 Northumberland communities and Morpeth is among those to see it on Friday, June 15.
Northumberland County Council has been working alongside Locog to help co-ordinate the torch route through the county and a special community task force has been set up to ensure that Northumberland’s local communities and economy gain maximum benefit from the Games.
Morpeth Mayor Phil Taylor said: “It is a great honour to have been chosen as a town and community to be highlighted during the Olympic Torch Relay.”
Town Council Clerk Gillian Turner added: “This is an absolutely brilliant chance for the people of Morpeth to be involved with this prestigious event — a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
On Thursday, June 14, day 27 of the relay, the famous flame will go to Berwick before travelling down to Bamburgh and Alnwick, where it will make an overnight stop in the town.
The following day, it will head to Hipsburn, Warkworth, Amble, Ashington Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Choppington, Hartford, Bedlington and Blyth, as well as Morpeth.
The Olympic Torch Relay will then travel to Newcastle before returning to Northumberland on Saturday, June 16 where it will pass through Prudhoe, Stocksfield, Hexham and Riding Mill.
Coun Neil Bradbury, Executive Member for Culture at Northumberland County Council, said: “Over the years, many of us have watched on television as the Olympic Torch Relay has passed through countries and communities across the globe.
“Now, incredibly, it is coming right through the heart of Northumberland and will shine the world spotlight on the special people and places in our county.
“I am sure that Northumberland residents will join together to show their support for the Olympics and to be a part of this exciting and memorable experience.”
The relay will end on Friday, July 27 when the eyes of the world will be on the flame as it arrives at the Olympic Stadium for the lighting of the cauldron to signify the start of the London 2012 Games.
Sebastian Coe, Chairman of Locog, said: “This is the UK’s moment to shine and I want to encourage people across Northumberland to start planning how they can be part of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and show their support for the inspirational torchbearers chosen to carry the Olympic Flame.”