Bristol businesses sign up to sponsor giant Gromit statues
BRISTOL businesses have already snapped up the chance to sponsor giant Gromit sculptures that will be unleashed on the city next summer.
As revealed in The Post yesterday 60 5ft-tall Gromit sculptures will appear on the streets of Bristol as part of a collaboration between creators of the popular film character Aardman and the children's hospital charity The Grand Appeal.
Almost a third of the sculptures already have sponsors with 17 businesses having already signed up to be part of the fundraising project.
And last night dozens of Bristol businesses were invited to Aardman's headquarters to hear more about how they could become involved with the project.
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It is not yet known how many firms opted to get involved as a result of the event but those who had already signed up were Bluefin Professions, Burges Salmon, Camb Knives, Element 78, Hargreaves Lansdown, Harvey Nichols, Icon Films, Jones Lang LaSalle, LDC, The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, The Post, Rolls Royce, Subway, Wessex Water, Western Power Distribution, Veale Wasbrough Vizards and Yankee Candle.
As with the Wow! Gorillas project, which captured the imagination of people across the city and beyond last year, artists, including some high-profile names, will make their own mark on the Gromit sculptures. They will then be on display on the streets of Bristol for ten weeks before being auctioned off to raise money for Wallace and Gromit's Grand Appeal, of which the characters are patrons. The charity benefited from a share of the auction of gorilla sculptures last year. It is hoped that the global appeal of Wallace and Gromit will make the trail an even bigger success.
Money raised through Gromit Unleashed will go towards the £3.5 million children's hospital expansion appeal to fund state-of-the-art equipment and enhance the environment.
Destination Bristol and Visit England have agreed to support Gromit Unleashed to attract more visitors to the city next summer.
Managing director of the city tourism organisation John Hallett said Destination Bristol and Visit England were going to invest in this project to extend its reach and attract national and international visitors during the arts trail.
He said Gromit Unleashed "is going to be the big story for the visitor economy next year".
Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park, who will design one of the sculptures on the trail himself, said: "I can't wait to see how Gromit will look decorated by so many different artists. The Grand Appeal is a charity close to my heart and I hope that Gromit Unleashed will hugely contribute much-needed funds for the appeal."
Nicola Masters, director of the Grand Appeal said: "We've been overwhelmed by the positive response we've had from businesses we've approached about Gromit Unleashed who see it as a huge coup for Bristol.
"We know how popular art trails have become and how much businesses on the trail can benefit from the increased interest they can generate.
"This is the first time an art project of this kind has involved an internationally-renowned character so we do expect this to grab the public's attention from far and wide."
Businesses and artists can still get involved with Gromit Unleashed although opportunities are on a first-come-first-served basis.
For more information visit www.sponsoragromit.org.uk.
To keep up to date with the latest news about the project visit www. gromit-unleashed.org.uk.