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North East businesses attend event to raise awareness of Great North Snowdogs

Business leaders from across the North East gathered at an event to highlight the potential regional benefits to be gained by supporting our Great North Snowdogs campaign. 

Following the launch of our exciting project, Tyne and Wear Metro joined forces with the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) and Northumbrian Water to encourage other businesses to back the campaign. 

The business and civic briefing took 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. 

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 highlighted the benefits to be gained for the region, introduced the Schools Programme and encouraged 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 brought along representatives from other companies to the briefing so they could learn more about the campaign and the benefits they can get from being involved. 

“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, business leaders also heard first-hand from marketing expert, Jeremy Merkel, from The Big Hoot in Birmingham last year, who was inspired and talked 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.” 

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

Find out more at http://www.greatnorthsnowdogs.co.uk