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Grand Appeal and Aardman to bring another arts trail to Bristol

Howard Lake | 17 February 2017 | News

Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal and Aardman are to bring another public arts trail to Bristol in the summer of 2018. The new trail will build on the success of their two previous arts trails in the city – Gromit Unleashed and Shaun in the City. Together these raised over £6 million for the charity and brought 1.2 million people to Bristol.
Gromit Unleashed was the first ever public arts trail to feature a licensed character, with Aardman’s canine character taking to the streets of Bristol in 2013.
The details of the trail will be announced later this year. Nicola Masters, Director of The Grand Appeal said:

“We have been overwhelmed with the public support we have received over the years since we first launched Gromit Unleashed in 2013. The Bristol public took our event to their hearts and Gromit mania took over the city. 
“In 2015 our loyal supporters didn’t disappoint, and not only came out in their droves to see Shaun the Sheep in Bristol but also in the capital, for the trail which took place in London at Easter time.”

She added that the charity receives enquiries and requests for another trail almost daily.


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Impact of Gromit Unleashed

The funds raised by Gromit Unleashed helped fund a pioneering 3T MRI scanner and intraoperative scanning suite – one of just three in the whole of Europe. Proceeds from Shaun in the City kick started the charity’s appeal to build a new family accommodation house for parents of sick babies and children.
Both trails have been recognised in various local and national awards, with Shaun in the City being recently named Tourism Event of the Year at the South West Tourism Awards.
In one way at least both trails are still generating income. Gromit Unleashed led to the inception of the Gromit Unleashed and Shaun in the City shop at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, Bristol. Originally planned to be open for the 10 week trail in 2013, the shop has now been open for over four years and stocks Gromit Unleashed and Shaun in the City merchandise, homeware, clothing and gifts and the bestselling Gromit and Shaun figurines.

Nick Park and Gromit Unleashed (Bristol, 2013)

Aardman’s Nick Park and Gromit Unleashed (Bristol, 2013)


2018 arts trail

The new arts trail will appear five years after Gromit Unleashed, and will involve not just design but community events and fundraising initiatives. The team plan “new ways to interact with the sculptures” and will showcase new areas of the city “with a colourful character”. They say that the trail will be even bigger than the 2013 trail.

Early Man

2018 will also see Aardman release their pre-historic comedy adventure ‘Early Man’ directed by Academy Award® winner Nick Park.  Set at the dawn of time, when prehistoric creatures and woolly mammoths roamed the earth, ‘Early Man’ tells the story of how plucky caveman Dug, along with sidekick Hognob unites his tribe against the mighty Bronze Age in a battle to beat them at their own game.
David Sproxton, Aardman Co-founder and Executive Chairman said:

“We at Aardman are very excited to be working with The Grand Appeal team to plan another great art trail for Bristol to raise funds for the Children’s Hospital.  We know families from Bristol and much further afield love these trails and we want to make this next one extra special, building on everything we’ve learnt from the last two.  Watch this space.”

The organisers are inviting enquiries from potential sponsors and artists.