The city of Sunderland will be taking part in one of the region’s most exciting public art events.
Sunderland BID and the Bridges shopping centre have agreed to support the Wild in Art project which should drive tourists from across the UK into the city.
The Great North Snowdogs, organised by Newcastle’s St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice, will see a trail of 50 giant dogs placed at various locations around the region, each one uniquely decorated by an artist.
The dogs – inspired by the classic animated film The Snowman and the Snowdog – are being backed by businesses, with both Sunderland BID and the Bridges sponsoring a city centre pooch.
Ken Dunbar, chief executive of Sunderland BID, said: “This is a unique and exciting project which will bring visitors of all ages to the North East and to Sunderland.
“It is a great opportunity for us not only to be part of something very special, but to help drive the local economy by increasing the number of visitors who come to the city.”
The Bridges will also be having their own Snowdon which will take up residence in the centre.
“There is no doubt that this will bring a huge boost for retailers,” said Andy Bradley, the centre director for the Bridges.
Mr Bradley added: “When Wild in Art has carried out projects in other area the visitor numbers have been phenomenal and there’s no reason to think this won’t be replicated in the North East, which is great news for Sunderland.”
The trail will launch in September and run for 10 weeks, after which time the large sculptures will be auctioned with the funds going to the hospice.
Jane Hogan, Great North Snowdogs project lead, said: “We are delighted to have the support of Sunderland BID and the Bridges shopping centre to deliver this fantastic project.
“Great North Snowdogs has something for everyone.
“From business, to schools, community groups to artists and designers, this event is set to bring the whole region together to celebrate our cultural identity, all while raising vital funds to support our local children’s hospice.”
Wild in Art has run projects across the UK featuring a range of different animals.
This includes The Big Hoot in Birmingham last year, which featured 89 owls across the city centre and to Norwich’s GoGoDragons which saw 84 giant, decorated dragons spread around the city.