The Tyne & Wear Metro, the UK’s second largest metro system with 60 stations and over 36 million passenger journeys a year, has been announced as headline partner for Elmer’s Great North Parade.
Following the announcement, Metro’s iconic cube has been transformed into a bright patchwork design to celebrate the parade, which is being delivered by St Oswald’s Hospice. It will lead the event that will see giant sculptures of the children’s book character Elmer the Patchwork Elephant appear across the region.
Metro bosses are now encouraging businesses to follow its lead and sponsor the sculptures that will make up the trail that starts this August and runs through until October this year.
Huw Lewis, customer services director at Nexus, said: “Elmer’s Great North Parade promises to be the big family event of the summer, taking tens of thousands of people to places they have never or rarely, visited.
“The art trail will show our region off to its fullest and Metro will be the best way to enjoy the Parade, with frequent trains and sculptures perfectly placed close to stations across Tyne and Wear. We thought transforming the iconic Metro cube to match Elmer’s patchwork was a great way to help launch the Parade and support St Oswald’s Hospice.
“It is incredibly rare for the Metro logo to be anything other than its distinctive yellow, but we couldn’t think of a better reason to make this temporary change.”
St Oswald’s Hospice is a regional centre based in Gosforth, Newcastle, which provides care to local adults, young people and children with incurable conditions.
Elmer’s Great North Parade will feature 65 individually designed Elmer sculptures sponsored by local businesses, inspired by David McKee’s children’s book series. They will be joined by a herd of 100 little Elmer sculptures designed by local school children.
The trail is being presented by St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice, in partnership with creative producers Wild in Art. Previous Wild in Art trails across the country have attracted thousands of local, regional and national visitors – making a significant impact on both economic and cultural life.