Arts Council funding for spectacular £375k Paralympic flame lighting ceremony in Aylesbury

Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony, Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Aylesbury,  1st March 2014 for Sochi Games

Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony, Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Aylesbury, 1st March 2014 for Sochi Games

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A Heritage Flame will once again burst into life at Stoke Mandeville Stadium this September, to celebrate the launch of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

It follows Arts Council England announcing it will provide £138,000 for the event, which celebrates Stoke Mandeville as the birthplace of the Paralympics through the work of Ludwig Guttmann.

Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony, Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Aylesbury,  1st March 2014 for Sochi Games

Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony, Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Aylesbury, 1st March 2014 for Sochi Games

The September 2 ceremony, which it is hoped will be aired on national television, has a £375,000 budget.

Sponsorship will provide £100,000, the government’s New Homes Bonus £50,000, developer Section 106 contributions £35,000, while Aylesbury Vale District Council is contributing £52,000.

Since the London Games in 2012, Stoke Mandeville Stadium has hosted the Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony for summer and winter Paralympics – making it the starting point for all future Games.

Once again, the artistic director for the event will be Bradley Hemmings MBE, who was co-creative director of the opening ceremony of the London Paralympic Games and who was the producer of the 2014 Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony at Stoke Mandeville.

Councillor Angela Macpherson, cabinet member for leisure at AVDC, said: “It’s fantastic that Stoke Mandeville Stadium will once again be hosting the Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony, giving residents of Aylesbury Vale another opportunity to feel pride in seeing our area showcased on the world stage.

“It’ll be marvellous to see the birthplace of the Paralympic movement play such a significant role in the launch of the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.”

Tickets for the ceremony will be available free of charge to members of the public. More details on this will follow in the coming months.

The council said there may also be some opportunity for local community groups to be involved in both the ceremony and other events that are as yet in the planning stages.

More details on this will be announced shortly.

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