Cash boost for Stoke Mandeville Paralympic celebrations

The 2012 Paralympic cauldron
The 2012 Paralympic cauldron

A £155,000 grant has been awarded to Aylesbury Vale District Council to fund Paralympic flame celebrations in Stoke Mandeville.

The Arts Council money will go towards events around the lighting ceremony on March 1 ahead of the Sochi Paralympic Winter Games.

AVDC is yet to confirm full details of what the money will go towards.

Following the success of the 2012 flame lighting ceremony and an announcement last August, Stoke Mandeville will be involved in all future Paralympic Games torch relays.

Sochi’s relay will take place between February 26 and March 7, visiting 46 Russian cities, but Stoke Mandeville will be the only international part of the relay and the first place in history to be involved in a relay outside of the host country.

All the flames will merge in Sochi on March 5 to create the flame which will be used in the final relay before the event begins.

This will be a pilot for how future relays will work before every summer and winter Paralympics.

Aylesbury MP David Lidington said it was a ‘very worthwhile project’.

Mr Lidington said: “I know that AVDC, Bucks County Council and Ian Barham, the Bucks Olympic legacy manager, have worked exceptionally hard to secure this funding and I know that they will continue their efforts to maintain this important historical legacy.

“Given Stoke Mandeville’s strong ties to the Paralympics, along with the fact that there is much enthusiasm to associate the venue with future summer and winter Paraylmpic events, there is a strong sense that the flame lighting ceremony will play an important part in this long-term project.”