Tyne and Wear Metro’s iconic cube has been transformed into a bright patchwork design to celebrate this summer’s art trail Elmer’s Great North Parade, delivered by St Oswald’s Hospice.

Metro is proud to be headline partner for the Parade, which will see giant sculptures of much-loved children’s book character Elmer the Patchwork Elephant appear across the region for families to find and explore.

Now Metro bosses are encouraging businesses to follow its lead and sponsor the sculptures that will make up the trail, which starts in August and runs through to October this year.

Huw Lewis, Customer Services Director at Nexus, said: “We are delighted to once again be supporting St Oswald’s Hospice, which is a fantastic charity many people here in the North East hold close to their heart.

“Elmer’s Great North Parade promises to be the big family event of the summer, taking tens of thousands of people to places they have never or rarely, visited. The art trail will show our region off to its fullest and Metro will be the best way to enjoy the Parade, with frequent trains and sculptures perfectly placed close to stations across Tyne and Wear.

“We thought transforming the iconic Metro cube to match Elmer’s patchwork skin was a great way to help launch the Parade and support St Oswald’s Hospice.  It is incredibly rare for the Metro logo to be anything other than its distinctive yellow, but we couldn’t think of a better reason to make this temporary change.”

St Oswald’s Hospice is a regional centre based in Gosforth, Newcastle, which provides care to local adults, young people and children with incurable conditions.

Jane Hogan, Elmer’s Great North Parade project lead said: “St Oswald’s Hospice is thrilled to once again receive the support of Tyne and Wear Metro as Presenting Partner for Elmer’s Great North Parade. They were a fantastic sponsor to work alongside throughout the Snowdogs public art trail in 2016 and we are very excited to see what creative ideas they have planned to display their support.”

Following the success of the Great North Snowdogs art trail in 2016, Elmer’s Great North Parade will feature 65 individually designed Elmer sculptures generously sponsored by local businesses, inspired by David McKee’s children’s book series. They will be joined by a herd of 100 little Elmer sculptures designed by local school children.

Elmer’s Great North Parade is being presented by St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice, working in partnership with creative producers Wild in Art. Previous Wild in Art trails across the country have attracted thousands of local, regional and national visitors – making a significant impact on the economic and cultural life of the region.

The Parade will also be supported by a region wide learning programme for schools and children’s groups and will culminate in a farewell weekend at Newcastle Race Course on 9th   and 10th November 2019.

This will enable people to see the sculptures herded together for the final time, before they are sold at an exciting auction to be held on 12th November 2019 at Sage, Gateshead to raise money for St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice.

One iconic Metro cube at Monument Metro station has been transformed into the bright Elmer patchwork for the duration of the Parade.