Local MP Bill Wiggin has welcomed this week’s announcement that 73 communities in the West Midlands – including Leominster, Ledbury, Bartestree and Lugwardine – are to be included on the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay route.

The Flame will pass through North Herefordshire on Thursday 24 May before returning briefly the following day heading south via Ross on Wye.

Bill said, ‘I’m delighted that the Olympic Flame is coming to North Herefordshire.

This will be a once in a lifetime experience for everyone involved and a fantastic opportunity to showcase local talent.

Those interested in watching the relay, or helping to plan celebrations, can find out more by visiting: http://www.london2012.com/olympic-torch-relay-map

I am confident that Herefordshire will give our inspirational Torchbearers a warm welcome.’

Every county in England and every local authority area in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales feature on the route, meaning that 95% of the population will be within 10 miles of the Olympic Flame.

As well as passing through more than 1,000 communities, it will take in hundreds of landmarks and travel by different methods of transport, including horseback and steam-train.

The Flame will arrive at the Olympic Stadium on 27 July 2012 for the lighting of the cauldron – signifying the start of London 2012.