As part of major refurbishments at Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books, Unwritten has created life-size versions of Jim Kay’s stunning full-colour illustrations for Diagon Alley, from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Coinciding with the recent launch of J.K. Rowling’s play and script, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the seventh floor attic has been transformed into the wizardry shopping area, which is described in the first book as being sited in London, behind a pub called the Leaky Cauldron. It is where the Hogwarts students go to buy everything on the school’s supply list, regardless in which house they belong to.
Lisa Eaton, Director of Unwritten, said: “Being involved in the refurbishment at Seven Stories has been a magical experience. The piece de résistance was definitely creating huge versions of Jim Kay’s illustrations and it’s been fantastic to see families enjoying using the area for dressing up, role play and storytelling.
“With the release of the new book and the play, Harry Potter-fever is stronger than ever and fans can indulge themselves at Seven Stories among the shops in Diagon Alley.”
The team at Unwritten, based at Citygate House, Newcastle, has also created graphics to guide visitors around the seven-storey building as well as making trails to use in the school holidays, including a Harry Potter Dragon Egg Hunt, to improve the experience for visitors.
The new attractions will further boost the popularity of Seven Stories, which has seen income from annual passes increase for its most recent financial year, compared to the previous 12 months, as well as a growth in positive ratings on Trip Advisor and through social media posts.
Kathryn Row, Programming and Marketing Manager at Seven Stories, said: “We’ve already had fantastic feedback about the attic, the new trails and egg hunts, with visitors saying they were fun, different and something the whole family can get involved in together. Unwritten have helped make the pages jump out of the book and have brought the attic to life, it’s a dream for Harry Potter fans!”
“Our annual pass rate is now up, families are seeing value and wanting to come back and we’re getting great reviews. Because we are across seven floors, it can be confusing and people wonder where to start. Unwritten’s work means visitors aren’t missing anything and they are now getting much more out of their time at Seven Stories.”