05 May 2017

The figures are in, and they are they are not to be sniffed at… GREAT North Snowdogs - the largest free public art trail ever to take place in the North East – boosted the region’s economy by a massive £16.5m. 

More than 676,000 people visited the trail of 61 sculptures, inspired by the animated film The Snowman™ and The Snowdog, which covered North and South Tyneside, Sunderland, Gateshead, Newcastle and Northumberland for nine weeks last autumn. 

And yesterday, we were able to release official figures, gathered as part of a survey by research agency NGI Solutions, in partnership with Wild in art and Penguin Random House, at a special event to demonstrate the impact of the project not just on the Hospice, but the wider community and region. 

Great North Snowdogs was a huge success for our Children’s Hospice. Not only did an auction, in December, of the individually decorated Snowdogs, raise more than £260k, but the figures show that 42 per cent of visitors to the trail later made some form of donation to the Hospice taking the total raised to £367k. 

Meanwhile, the region saw an economic boost thanks to the presence of our pooches, who proved to be extremely paw-pular. The region’s hotels benefitted from an additional 67,000 visitors – as one in 10 stayed overnight – and tourist attractions, such as Sunderland’s National Glass Centre, which sponsored and housed a Snowdog, also reached a whole new audience. 

Tyne and Wear residents formed the majority visitors, spending on average £18.37 a trip, while those from further afield registered a £25.32 average spend. 

During the course of the project more than 11,000 people downloaded the Great North Snowdogs app and at least 280k people viewed, shared and interacted with the St Oswald’s Hospice social media sites each week. 

Jane Hogan, Great North Snowdogs project lead said: “The response to this trail was beyond anything we could ever have imagined. 

“People of all ages and from all parts of the country took the Snowdogs to their hearts with more than 90 per cent saying they would like the trail to return to their area and more than 80 per cent rating it as ‘excellent.’

“A vast amount of work went into staging Great North Snowdogs and we are thrilled that not only will our children and their families benefit from the project, but that it has also given the North East in general a genuine economic boost and brought a sense of pride to the community.” 

Due to its resounding success and positive feedback, St Oswald’s have committed to running a follow up trail in Autumn 2019. The theme of the sculpture has yet to be decided, but we hope it will be something which the people of the region and beyond will fall in love with all over again. 

Thank you to everyone who helped us make Snowdogs GREAT! Here’s to 2019. 

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A Wild in Art event delivered in partnership with St Oswald's Hospice Children’s Service. Proceeds from Great North Snowdogs will go towards supporting children with incurable conditions. 
‘The Snowman™ and The Snowdog’ © Snowdog Enterprises Ltd 2015. St Oswald’s Hospice is a registered charity, number: 503386.

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