In the national spotlight

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AWARDS and events have put Alnwick and the surrounding area on the map in 2011 and in 2012 the town and countryside will be the focus of international attention thanks to the Olympic Torch Relay.

The Queen’s visit on June 22 was just one of the highlights of a fantastic year. As part of this special event the Duchess of Northumberland invited thousands of carers and volunteers to attend a garden party in The Alnwick Garden. Hundreds more people lined Bondgate to meet the Royal party during a walkabout.

Bondgate Within was also in the news this summer for winning the Google Street View Awards – voted Britain’s Best Shopping Street by David Else, author of the Lonely Planet Guide to Great Britain.

In July the town won another accolade taking the title of Britain’s Best Market Town in the BBC’s Countryfile magazine awards. In the same competition Hadrian’s Wall was named Britain’s Greatest Walking Trail confirming that the county’s attractions are commanding national attention.

Audiences from around the world will be watching as the Olympic Torch Relay makes its way through the county.

On June 14, 2012, the torch will travel down from Berwick and Bamburgh before making an overnight stop in Alnwick. We’re very honoured to be hosting the flame and a special organising committee has been set up to plan events to mark this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Northumberland County Council is working alongside LOCOG (The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) to coordinate the torch route throughout the county from June 14 to 16 and make sure the flame passes as many towns and villages in Northumberland as possible.

The economic climate has dominated this year’s national and international news. The county council continues to work to ensure that frontline services remain robust and unaffected.

As this year draws to a close we have a lot to celebrate and as a New Year approaches we have much to look forward to. I wish all Northumberland Gazette readers a peaceful Christmas and best wishes for a wonderful year to come in 2012.

ROGER STYRING,

County Council Deputy Leader