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Revealed: Cost of Cornwall's Olympic Torch Relay

Olympic Torch
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3:05pm 20th May 2013

It is revealed the Olympic Torch relay cost Cornwall more than a £121,000

It's estimated a billion people watched the flame start its journey from Land's End.

The Council insists the money came from existing budgets and did not hit frontline services.

Speaking last year head of Visit England James Berresford flagged up the benefits: "Isn't this just the best free advert? Money couldn't buy this. Cornwall is one of our major brands in England and to have the torch start from here is such a great sign for the rest of England.

"80% of the value of tourism in this country is from domestic tourism. The Staycation as it is termed is growing. More and more people are realising that they have great options on their doorstep.

In a statement Cornwall Council said: "Cornwall was extremely lucky to be chosen to host the arrival of the Olympic Flame into the UK and to launch the start of the Olympic Torch Relay.  This provided a unique opportunity to showcase what Cornwall has to offer to a national audience and, indeed, across Europe and worldwide.
"Hosting the first day of the Relay meant that the eyes of the world were on Cornwall at 7 am on Saturday, 19 May as the Olympic Flame left Land's End on the start of its 8,000 mile journey around the UK, with reports suggesting up to a billion people were watching worldwide.  

"An estimated 188,500 local spectators (35% of Cornwall's population) watched the procession of the Torch through Cornwall and took part in more than 100 local community events.  There were also more than 2,000 tweets on the day using #DayOne2012, an additional 13,026 visits to the VisitCornwall website and 79,074 hits on the Cornwall Torch Relay Google Map.  

"The funding for the Torch Relay came from the Leader's Contingency and Cornwall Development Company's existing budget and so did not impact on the budgets for frontline services. Many of the budgeted costs were also common to those of other counties through which the Torch passed, such as arranging road closures, security etc.  The Relay delivery costs were £120,000.

"The event in Cornwall generated an estimated £3.7m spend in the local economy, 240 reporters, photographers and film crews from around the world were present at the start of the relay resulting in extensive media coverage for the county, equating to a public relations value of in excess of £17 million.  

"Day One of the Torch Relay has been acknowledged widely as a great success, as well organised and has hugely contributed to the positive image of Cornwall.

3:05pm 20th May 2013

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