King Bladud’s Pigs of Bath – Summer 2008
“The King Bladud’s Pigs were one of the best boosts to tourism that I have experienced.”
Charles Curnock - Administrator, Bath Abbey
The Organisers of the Minerva's Owls of Bath 2018 event are:
Gitte Dawson, a B&NES councillor until 2007 who came up with the original King Bladud’s Pigs of Bath project and
Megan Witty, previously a producer/director at ITV in London and the BBC Natural History Unit in Bristol, who has organised a wide range of national and West Country events including the Pigs and Lions of Bath, Swans of Wells and the annual '24 Hours in Bristol' photo competition.
Find out about the rest of the Minerva’s Owls Project Team
The King Bladud’s Pigs 2008 sculpture trail – A colourful trail of 100 cheeky pig sculptures captivated Bath’s residents and visitors. The Royal Crescent preview weekend attracted 16,000 people and the charity auction raised £200,000 for the Two Tunnels cycle path project.
The Lions of Bath 2010 public art event - a trail of 100 life-size lion sculptures to celebrate the royal history of Bath, which increased footfall to the city and raised over £65,000 for local charities.
The Swans of Wells 2012 sculpture trail. The 60 giant swan sculptures displayed around England’s smallest city were referred to as the best thing to have happened in Wells for decades. The charity auction raised over £100,000.
The ‘24 Hours in Bristol’ photographic competition. Now in its 5th year, the event attracts entrants from across Europe, generates 10,000 new photographs of the city each year and results in a major exhibition of winning images.
Sculpture trails – Economic Impact
Sculpture trails not only raise millions of pounds for local charities, but also have a significant city-wide economic impact.
The ‘Great North Snowdogs’ trail in Tyne and Wear, attracted 676,000 visitors over the 10 weeks of the project, contributing an additional £7.2m to the local economy. 25% of visitors took in the entire trail and 35% spent six or more days completing it. 64% visited somewhere new in the city whilst following the trail.
Birmingham’s Great Western Mall saw a 25% increase in visitor numbers compared to the previous year.
During the Norwich elephant trail, Pret a Manger reported a 16% increase in sales, based on their sponsorship of an elephant.
On the first day of Pride of Northampton, an additional 25,211 visitors were recorded in the main shopping street, compared to the same day the previous year.
Sainsbury’s Colchester saw dwell time double while shoppers and visitors looked for giraffes.
‘Gromit Unleashed’ saw 1.18m visitors over the 10-week display period, of which 900,000 visited specifically to see the Gromit sculptures.
Footfall to Bristol’s Museums doubled.
The main Northampton shopping centre recorded an 18% increase in footfall during the lion sculpture trail and other local business reported an increased turnover of 14%.
A 20% increase in sales was reported by Jarrolds Department Store in Norwich, attributed to people visiting their sponsored sculpture.
“The King Bladud’s Pigs were one of the best boosts to tourism that I have experienced.”Charles Curnock, Administrator, Bath Abbey
“‘Gromit Unleashed’ saw 1.18m visitors over the 10-week display period, of which 900,000 visited specifically to see the Gromit sculptures. Footfall to Bristol’s Museums doubled.”Gromit Unleashed, Bristol
“The King Bladud’s Pig project was the best thing that ever happened in Bath on many fronts. It really increased footfall around the city and helped independent retailers. It also brought people into Bath from the local environs, who continue to come long after re-discovering what a wonderful city Bath is.”Annette Martin, Bath Aqua Glass
“Gromit Unleashed has helped shine a light on Bristol as a hub for culture, tourism and creativity and showcase its strengths in front of an international audience. We enjoyed tremendously positive publicity, welcomed more visitors from far and wide, and our businesses reaped the benefits.”John Hirst, Chief Executive, Destination Bristol
“The Swans of Wells sculpture trail really put Wells on the map in 2012 and attracted thousands of visitors to the city. Local businesses reported a significant increase in trade and people were drawn to parts of Wells they hadn’t visited before. The auction raised an incredible £100,000. We are all still talking about it today.”Danny Unwin, Mayor of Wells 2012
“As one of the first businesses to sign up as a [Pig] sponsor, we saw the enormous positive benefits of being involved from the outset. The response from locals and visitors alike was remarkable.”Martin Tracy, The Framing Workshop