Saturday, January 3, 2015

Plans for 40 giant wolf sculptures in Wolverhampton backed by Wolves chairman

January 3, 2015

An ambitious project to introduce 40 giant wolf sculptures in Wolverhampton has been backed by Wolves chairman Steve Morgan – with organisers hoping the club will agree to help fund it.
An artists' impression of a wolf statueAn artists' impression of a wolf statue
The bears of Berlin and superlambananas in Liverpool brought in tourists and cash, while in Bristol Wallace and Gromit statues raised an incredible £77m to the local economy. Wolves chairman Steve Morgan could help fund the Wolverhampton project, with discussions ongoing in the coming weeks and months. Dr Darke hopes that with BBC F1 presenter Suzi Perry and revered actress Frances Barber on board, many other Wolverhampton celebrities will follow suit by putting their names or designs to the colourful sculptures. The likes of Denise Lewis and Steve Bull are sure to be approached, with music star Goldie already contacted.
An artists' impression of a wolf statue
An artists' impression of a wolf statue
However Dr Darke, director of disability charity Outside Centre, said that signing up Liam Payne was proving ‘difficult’ so far. He said: “The project is progressing nicely – it’s definitely going to happen.
“When everything was announced last year the reaction was fantastic, it was 99 per cent positive. Funding is coming in place and we’ll be getting hold of as many celebrity names as we can before probably launching the project officially in May.” That will give the organising team 12 months to make the Wolves Wolves a reality, with a planned unveiling in May 2016. The sculptures would be auctioned off for charity at the end of that summer.

Planned spots for the sculptures include the university, art gallery, Molineux and Dudley Street. Other landmarks including the Grand Theatre, St Peter's Church, Civic Hall, and even the Express & Star are also in the running. Dr Darke added: “We had a chat with Steve Morgan who’s very keen on it.
“The football club is very supportive and we’re hoping they’ll put some money in. I’ve contacted Goldie and he’s considering it. But getting Liam Payne is quite difficult.”

The scheme is likely to cost £50,000 and will have a big social media presence Mobile phone apps will be developed to follow the wolf trail across the city, alongside more traditional printed maps.
It is also planned that merchandise will be sold so visitors can take home a replica of their favourite sculpture.

Sculpture projects have happened around the world. A similar scheme in Northampton comprising lion sculptures saw an extra 25,000 people visit the town on the first day, with businesses reporting an increased turnover of 14 per cent in the resulting weeks.