AS the birthplace of the official Olympic mascot Wenlock and the Paralympic mascot Mandeville, Bolton was an obvious choice to host the Olympic Torch.

The mascots and a £19.1 million landmark Olympic sculpture in London, were made with steel from Lostock-based Watson Steel.

Keith Davies, director of development and regeneration at Bolton Council, said: “The mascots were born in Bolton and we have been creating our own legacy here from the Games.

“There have been great business opportunities on the back of this and companies in Bolton have won 30 contracts from the Games.”

Bolton is one of just seven places in the North West picked to have the Torch overnight.

The Olympic Torch reaches Bolton on day 13 of its tour, coming from Stoke-on-Trent, and leaves on day 14, heading to Liverpool.

Before it arrives in Bolton, the torch will have been through Crewe, Congleton, Macclesfield, Knutsford, Tatton Park, Warrington, Lowton, Wigan and Hindley.

Hundreds of thousands of people have already cheered the torch on its way, since it started its journey in Land’s End on May 18. In the 70 days until it reaches the Olympic Stadium in London on July 27, it will be carried by more than 8,000 people, around the UK, travelling more than 8,000 miles and visiting 1,000 towns.