Queen's Baton to travel through the borough

Published: 11 May 2022

Queen's Baton Relay
Queen's Baton Relay

The route that the Queen’s Baton will take in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games this summer has been announced today.

As part of a national announcement of the route through England, the four locations that the Baton will visit in the borough on 18 July are the Belong Heritage Gallery and Keele University campus, in Newcastle, and the Harecastle Tunnel and Trent and Mersey Canal in Kidsgrove as well as the Pump Track at Newchapel.  

The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay is confirmed to visit the borough during its final journey through England this summer, as the full route is revealed.

Birmingham 2022 is hosting the 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay – a journey which brings together and celebrates communities across the Commonwealth during the build up to the Games. In England, the Queen’s Baton Relay will provide the opportunity for communities to experience the excitement for Birmingham 2022, as the 11 days of show stopping sport nears ever closer.

The Queen’s Baton Relay is set to travel the length and breadth of England for a total of 29 days, before culminating at the Opening Ceremony for Birmingham 2022 on 28 July 2022.

Kicking off on Thursday 2 June, the Baton will spend four days in London, coinciding with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Weekend. The Baton will then resume the international journey and return to England on Monday 4 July to commence a 25-day tour of the regions.

On Monday 18 July Newcastle-under-Lyme will officially welcome the Baton. A busy schedule of activities and events are planned for the Queen’s Baton, with opportunities to highlight untold stories from Baton bearers who are striving for change in their community.

The Baton’s first visit will be to Keele University and, to mark the occasion, children from around 10 local primary schools will visit the sports facilities on campus, where year five and six children will take part across different sporting activities in an informal multi sport competition, celebrating the spirit of camaraderie and sportsmanship embodied by the Games.

Mike Huss, Operations and Active Lifestyles Manager at Keele said: “It is with great pleasure that we welcome so many young people to Keele University Sports Centre to help us celebrate the Commonwealth Games Queen's Baton passing though Newcastle. We hope the event inspires future generations of sporting talent in the local area.”

Moving on to Belong Heritage Gallery, the Baton route activities will include a Philip Astley Circus Celebration. Belong’s CEO, Martin Rix, said: “We’re really excited to be part of this historic occasion. It couldn’t be more fitting that we’ll have the opportunity to showcase Newcastle-under-Lyme’s heritage as the original home of modern circus, and residents, colleagues and local school children are all looking forward to joining in the spectacle as the Queen’s Baton follows its route through the Belong village and heritage gallery.”

For the events in Kidsgrove, members of the Harecastle Tunnel and Trent and Mersey Canal, Canal and River Trust have organised a unique adventure for the Baton, as it is carried on a narrowboat along the canal. This will be followed by a themed programme of activities with local schools and members of the community.

The final visit for the Baton will be to Newchapel Pump Track, where local schoolchildren and members of the local community will take part in cycling and sports events.

Members of the public are encouraged to get involved with the celebrations and embrace the arrival of the Baton, taking the opportunity to experience the buzz of Birmingham 2022 in their community. 

The Birmingham 2022 website will be updated with information over the coming months, with detail on the events and where to line the route.

Thousands of Batonbearers, each with inspiring backgrounds and stories, will have the honour of carrying the Baton during the journey through England, including those nominated in recognition of their contributions to their local community, whether that be in sport, education, the arts, culture or charity.

Between 40 and 130 Batonbearers will carry the Baton each day, and the Relay will reach hundreds of villages, towns and cities during its tour of the country.  

One of the confirmed community Batonbearers in Staffordshire is Tracy Paine, a co-founder of Belong villages, who was nominated for her contribution in transforming care settings for people with dementia.

Travelling via land, air and sea, more than 180 communities in England will experience the Queen’s Baton on a route spanning 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometres). From energetic cities and historic market towns, to rolling countryside and rugged coastline, the Baton will head as far south as Cornwall and as far north as Northumberland.

Since its inaugural appearance at the Cardiff 1958 Commonwealth Games, the Queen’s Baton Relay has been a tradition for the Commonwealth Games.

The Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay began at Buckingham Palace on 7 October 2021, when The Queen placed Her Message to the Commonwealth into the Baton and passed it to four-time Paralympic gold medallist Kadeena Cox, who had the honour of being the first of thousands of Batonbearers to carry the Baton.

Since then, the Baton has visited Commonwealth nations and territories in Europe, Africa, Oceania.

It still has further destinations in the Caribbean, the Americas, and more countries in Europe, including the Home Nations consisting of five days in Scotland, four in Northern Ireland and five in Wales, where it will finish on Sunday 3 July, before returning to England in summer for the final countdown to the Commonwealth Games.

The dates of when the Baton visits each region are:

  • 4 July – 5 July: South West
  • 6 July – 7 July: South East
  • 8 July – 9 July: East of England
  • 10 July – 11 July: East Midlands
  • 12 July – 13 July: Yorkshire and the Humber
  • 14 July – 15 July: North East
  • 16 July – 17 July: North West
  • 18 July – 28 July: West Midlands