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University chosen as part of London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay Route

07 Nov 2011

The University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire East has been selected to take part in the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay as a host location for people to welcome the Olympic Flame.

The Lovell Telescope will provide an iconic backdrop to the Olympic Torch

The torch relay will be visiting Jodrell Bank in Cheshire East on May 31 2012. 

Local schoolchildren will be on hand to see the torch pass through the Cheshire countryside and arrive at the Observatory – one of the most significant scientific and cultural sites in the UK.

A world-leading astronomical research site, Jodrell Bank is also a much-loved visitor attraction, welcoming thousands of people every year to witness live science in action and the spectacular Lovell Telescope.

The visit will allow people to share in the excitement the Relay will bring and celebrate the achievements of the Torchbearers.

Jodrell Bank is one of just a few landmarks and special activities to be announced today by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) through which the Olympic Flame will be carried by Torchbearers during the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay which is presented by Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung.  

LOCOG has worked closely with representatives from a number of sectors in the North West to include these on the route and the majority of other special events and activities will be confirmed next year as we aim to build further excitement and anticipation much closer to the time of the Torch Relay.  

Sir Bernard Lovell, the founding father of Jodrell Bank, said: “I am delighted to hear that the Olympic Torch will be visiting Jodrell Bank as part of the relay route. 

“It’s a great honour for us and we feel very privileged to have been selected to take part in such a great national and international event.”

Dr Teresa Anderson, Director of the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, said: “This will be a fantastic opportunity for people in the area to be a part of the Olympic Torch Relay and see the flame in such an iconic setting.

“We feel proud and honoured to have been selcted as one of the venues and look forward immensely to seeing the Olympic flame arrive here next year.”

Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG said: ‘We are thrilled to confirm that the Olympic Flame will be visiting Jodrell Bank Observatory as part of its journey around the UK.  

“We have worked hard to devise a route that achieves the optimum mix of proximity to people whilst taking in diversity of the UK’s landscape and landmarks, and by taking in Jodrell Bank we are doing just that.   

“This is the UK’s moment to shine and I want to encourage people across the North West 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 as we count down to the start of the Olympic Games.”

The 70-day Olympic Torch Relay will start at Land’s End, Cornwall on the morning of 19 May 2012. On leaving Land’s End, the Olympic Flame will travel an estimated 8,000 miles around the UK giving thousands of communities and individuals their moment to shine as the Olympic Flame comes to a place near them.

In announcing the villages, towns and cities and some of the landmarks and alternative modes of transport the Flame will take in as part of its journey, LOCOG has realised the aspiration of taking the Olympic Flame to within an hour’s journey time of 95% of the population. 

In fact, over 95% of the population will be within just 10 miles of the Olympic Flame next summer. The street by street detail of the route will be confirmed next year.

People are invited to view the interactive map at to find their nearest community through which the Olympic Flame will be carried.

On the final day of the Olympic Torch Relay, it is LOCOG’s intention that the Olympic Flame will travel down the River Thames as it makes its way to the Olympic Stadium on 27 July 2012 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

For logistical reasons, not all the landmarks will be accessible to large crowds but LOCOG have worked with the local areas to ensure that there is as much public access as possible.

The Olympic Flame will be carried across the UK by 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers each of whom will have a story of personal achievement and/or contribution to the local community. In December this year, successful nominees will be contacted with a conditional offer and final Torchbearer places will start to be confirmed from February 2012 onwards.

Today LOCOG launches two new public participation programmes. The ‘Local Leaders’ initiative is an invitation to people to take the 2012 Games into their community and create their own celebrations next year, for the Olympic Torch Relay and other key moments during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. People are encouraged to sign up to the Local Leader programme at to receive further information on a range of themed celebration ideas focusing on the Opening Ceremony evening, gardening, quizzes and barbecues and be in the front row to receive free London 2012 event materials to support events.

Also launched today is the ‘Get Set for the Olympic Torch Relay’  education resource, available to all schools registered with Get Set, London 2012’s official education programme. The aim of the resource is to provide schools with cross-curricular resources aimed at teachers working with 3 to 16 year olds to aid learning around history of Olympic Torch Relays, the design of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay and the Torch itself. A further education resource will launch next year to encourage schools to plan a welcome for the Olympic Flame and show support for the Torchbearers.   Lloyds TSB, official Education Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, have launched their Flame Followers schools programme which compliments the Get Set resources, and gives schools once-in-a-lifetime opportunities be right at the heart of the excitement and celebrations of the Relay.