The Tyne and Wear Metro is celebrating its past and looking to the future with a very special sell-out 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 in his biggest challenge to date to help complete a scale model of one of the current Metrocars to celebrate Metro’s proud history in Tyne and Wear.

Steve has already been busy in his workshop on the first half of the model. And from Monday 7 August to Friday 11 August Steve will be joined by children aged from 5 to 11 years old and their grown up helpers at The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, in South Shields.

Tickets for the #BrickMetro Big Build sessions sold out in less than seven hours, but anyone not able to get a ticket 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.

The finished LEGO® model of the Metrocar will then go on display at The Word until 30 September. Entry to The Word is free.

Children will also be able to take part in a colouring competition to win a LEGO® model train, built especially for them by BrickThis. For more information on how to enter the colouring competition, including terms and conditions, visit: www.nexus.org.uk/metro/brickmetro

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.”

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.”

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.

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