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Calling all Master Builders! The Tyne and Wear Metro is celebrating its past and looking to the future with a very special event this summer – putting it among the ranks of world famous landmarks which have been recreated using LEGO.

Thirty seven years down the track after the first Metro appeared on the network, Tyne and Wear Metro is calling on young Master Builders to help build the 91st Metrocar – the first new Metro to be built for nearly four decades – as part of a summer holiday challenge with the renowned LEGO® architect BrickThis – aka Steve Mayes.

As Metro looks to the future with its bid for a new fleet of trains, local families will work with Steve to build a scale model of one of the current Metrocars to celebrate Metro’s proud history in Tyne and Wear.

From Monday 7 August to Friday 11 August Metro is inviting children aged from 5 to 11 years old to visit The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, in South Shields, to help Steve Mayes with the construction of the LEGO® Metrocar in his biggest challenge to date.

At each session Steve will give youngsters a section of the Metro to build, along with full instructions and assistance to help them every step of the way.

#BrickMetro Big Build sessions will run every day at 10am and 2pm. To take part, budding builders (and their parents or guardians) need to sign up for a session via the event page at:  www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/brickmetro-big-public-build-tickets-35004153365  

Tickets are free, but there are only limited spaces available and tickets will be limited to one session per person, so families wanting to take part are urged to make sure they sign up as soon as possible. Booking is essential for both adults and children.

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, is very excited to see that its Metro trains are joining with the many other famous local and world landmarks which have been built out of Lego.

Tobyn Hughes, the Managing Director of Nexus, said: “It is fantastic that our iconic Metro trains are to be recreated in LEGO®, it puts us up there with a whole of host of world famous landmarks which have had this unique honour.

“LEGO® is more popular than ever, and a real icon in itself. This event will give youngsters the chance to get involved and play their part in immortalising the current Metrocar design that we all know and love. The Big Build will be fun and educational, which is ideal for the school summer holidays.

Nexus is seeking to replace the Metrocar fleet as the central part of a £1 billion investment programme over the next two decades.  A detailed business case for has been presented to the Department for Transport (DfT).”

LEGO® architect Steve Mayes has taken his childhood hobby and turned it into a thriving business, using the famous coloured building blocks to faithfully recreate North East landmarks, brick by brick. His work has featured at the Centre for Life in Newcastle at the North East LEGO® Landmarks exhibition, held earlier in the year.

Steve has already built LEGO® models of St James’ Park, the BALTIC art gallery, the Angel of the North and his North Shields home.

He said: “My focus as a LEGO® Architect over the past few years has been to create landmarks and icons of the North East. So when Metro approached me about recreating one of their Metrocars as a scale LEGO® model, it really appealed to me and getting the public involved in the challenge is a whole new way of working for me.

“Together with my Master Builder helpers we’ll be creating an accurate and highly detailed model, utilising some advanced LEGO® building techniques that LEGO® fans of all ages can enjoy.

“I’m really looking forward to the Big Build in August.”

The finished LEGO® model of the Metrocar will go on display at The Word in South Shields until 30 September 2017.

Tania Robinson, Head of Marketing and Communications at South Tyneside Council, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the #BrickMetro Big Build challenge at The Word this summer.

“The sessions offer youngsters a wonderful opportunity to become mini construction workers and have fun helping to build a scale model of what has become a prominent symbol of life in the North East.

“We look forward to welcoming families to get involved in the project alongside Steve Mayes. Once the build is complete, they will get to see their recreation of the Metrocar go on display for all our visitors to enjoy.”

Anyone not able to get a ticket to take part in the build won’t be left out of the LEGO® themed fun. Visitors to The Word will be invited to watch the build take shape, have a look at the model, find out more about the Metro Futures project including plans for a new Metro fleet and try their hand at building a LEGO® model of their own. Children will also be able to take part in a colouring competition to win a LEGO® model train, built especially for them by BrickThis.

The #BrickMetro Big Build coincides with South Shields Museum & Art Gallery’s Little Landmarks exhibition this summer. Ten instantly recognisable South Shields buildings, recreated in miniature by local LEGO® builder Bricks McGee are on display at the museum until Saturday 30 September.

The exhibition is free and includes creations of the newest cultural additions to the South Shields skyline including The Word.   

For more information on #BrickMetro and Terms and Conditions, visit: www.nexus.org.uk/metro/bricktsandcs  

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