Tyne and Wear Metro joins forces with the NECC and Northumbrian Water to raise awareness of snowdogs campaign among north east businesses.

15 March 2016

Business leaders from across the North East will gather at an event this month to highlight the potential regional benefits to be gained by supporting the Great North Snowdogs campaign.

Following the launch of the St Oswald’s-led fundraising initiative, Tyne and Wear Metro has joined forces with the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) and Northumbrian Water to encourage other businesses to back the campaign.

A business and civic briefing will take place on 21 March at 1.30pm the Gosforth Marriott Hotel, Newcastle, hosted by Tobyn Hughes, Managing Director of Nexus, James Ramsbotham, Chief Executive of the NECC and Louise Hunter, Director of Corporate Affairs at Northumbrian Water.

Presented by creative producers Wild in Art and charity St Oswald′s Children’s Hospice, Great North Snowdogs will unite businesses, artists, schools and community groups to create a mass participation public art trail based on the iconic Snowdog image from ‘The Snowman ™ and The Snowdog’, by Raymond Briggs.

For ten weeks starting in September 2016, the streets, parks and open spaces of our area will become home to a trail of 50 individually designed Snowdog sculptures, painted by both well-known and undiscovered artists. They will be joined by a pack of around 100 little Snowdog sculptures designed by local schoolchildren.

Tyne and Wear Metro, a presenting partner of Great North Snowdogs, will play a key role in helping people discover the Snowdogs trail. Many of the Snowdogs sculptures will find a temporary home in venues and locations across the region, easily accessible by using the Tyne and Wear Metro system, and other public transport.

So far, more than half of the 50 dogs have been sponsored by North East businesses and organisations, which include Sunderland BID, Barbour, Bond Dickinson LLP, The Biscuit Factory, Sage Gateshead and DFDS Seaways to name just a few.

The afternoon briefing will highlight the benefits to be gained for the region, introduce the Schools Programme and encourage more companies to sponsor a dog.

Jane Hogan, business development manager of St Oswald’s Hospice Ltd and Great North Snowdogs Project Lead, said: “Businesses already on board with the Snowdogs campaign will be bringing along representatives from other companies to the briefing so they can learn more about the campaign and the benefits they will get from being involved.
“Snowdogs is in effect, a cost-effective marketing opportunity which will help increase business profile and potential customers, as well as contributing to businesses CSR objectives as the money raised from the campaign will go towards supporting our Children’s Hospice.

“We would love them to join us in making a positive impact in our community and across the North East. In the last ten years over thirty of these sculpture trails have been hosted around the world, attracting tens of thousands of visitors.
“There is compelling evidence from previous trails of a positive impact on civic pride, engagement, visitor numbers and the local economy. Now we have the opportunity in our region to host one of these exciting trails and we’re urging businesses to get on board and make sure they don’t miss out.

“At the briefing session we will also hear first-hand from marketing expert, Jeremy Merkel, from The Big Hoot in Birmingham last year, who was inspired and will talk about his experiences and benefits he gained from taking part in the arts trail.”

Tobyn Hughes, Managing Director at Nexus, which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, said: “I am very proud that Tyne and Wear Metro is presenting partner of the trail. The Great North Snowdogs sculpture trail will be great for the regions’ whole visitor economy.

“The trail will be free, widely publicised and very accessible via Tyne and Wear Metro and other public transport. Sponsoring a Snowdog is a unique opportunity for businesses to interact with new audiences and raise their profile while being associated with a fantastic regional charity.”

Metro Customer Service Director, Paul Walker, will be attending the event.

He added: “We’re delighted to play our part in the Great North Snowdogs campaign and hope many more businesses sign up to support it.

“Using Metro will be the perfect way to follow the Snowdogs sculpture trail and we’re looking forward to helping as many people as possible discover the Snowdogs and explore our region during the event.”

James Ramsbotham, Chief Executive, North East Chamber of Commerce, said: “Snowdogs is a really special appeal as it brings so many aspects of Tyne and Wear together in a truly unique way.

“There will be sculpture exhibits in every part of the area and they are sure to bring pleasure to everyone in the local and business communities. They are a super way to raise money for charity and engage everyone in the fundraising.”

Louise Hunter, Director of Corporate Affairs at Northumbrian Water, added: “Northumbrian Water is delighted to be supporting Snowdogs and St Oswalds Hospice. In addition to our two Snowdogs, we are sponsoring two snow puppies to enable local schools to get involved too. Designing the puppies provides a great opportunity for the children to express their creativity and we′re really excited about seeing a pack of imaginatively designed puppies. I would encourage all local businesses to support their neighbouring schools to get involved.”

Once the trail ends, the sculptures will be auctioned at an event in December to raise funds for St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice.

Any businesses who might like to sponsor a dog, or attend the event can contact jane@greatnorthsnowdogs.co.uk

Further information about the campaign can be found at http://www.greatnorthsnowdogs.co.uk

DB Regio Tyne and Wear Ltd operate Metro stations and trains on behalf of Nexus, under a seven year concession agreement. For further information please contact Account Manager, Ruth Lawson, or Senior PR Executive, Aranda Rahbarkouhi at Gardiner Richardson on 0191 261 4250 or email arandar@gardiner-richardson.com or ruthl@gardiner-richardson.com

Nexus owns, manages and is modernising the Tyne and Wear Metro in a programme worth £389m over 11 years. For further details please contact David Punton, Communications Officer, at Nexus on 0191 203 3691 or david.punton@nexus.org.uk.

St Oswald’s Hospice provides specialist care for North East adults, young people and children with incurable conditions. We need to raise over £7 million each year through voluntary giving and legacies to continue to provide our services. No charge is made to patients for the services provided, ensuring hospice care is available to all. For more information please visit www.stoswaldsuk.org

Wild in Art is one of the UK’s leading creative producers of mass-appeal public art events, which engage residents and tourists alike, through the creation of citywide trails of uniquely painted sculptures. From crashes of rhinos in Sydney and parliaments of owls in Birmingham to BookBenches in London and and Commonwealth Games Clyde mascots in Glasgow, Wild in Art events have animated cities and enthralled people the world over, raising over £6m for charity partners along the way. Wild in Art also provide unique art education resources which engage and inspire young people and enhance learning across the curriculum.

The Snowman™ and The Snowdog: Originally published in 1978, The Snowman, created and illustrated by Raymond Briggs has become one of the world’s most popular children’s books. Available in 15 languages it has sold in excess of 8.5 million copies worldwide with over 3 million of these sales in the UK published under Puffin editions. Adapted for screen by producer John Coates, the Oscar-nominated animation launched on Channel 4 in its inaugural year in 1982 and has been repeated every Christmas since. The sequel, The Snowman and The Snowdog premiered on Channel 4 on Christmas Eve 2012 and was seen by over 10 million people over the festive period. The Snowman brand enjoys an international audience with global broadcast of the sequel, along with an array of consumer products now available. Snowman Enterprises Limited (SEL) is a Penguin owned company.

For media enquiries relating to St Oswald’s Hospice and Great North Snowdogs, contact: Nikki Maguire
T: 0191 285 0063 Ext: 360 / 07786996807 E: nikkimaguire@stoswaldsuk.org 

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