Businesses from every sector across Birmingham have united in support of this summer’s big free art event – The Big Sleuth. From travel and hospitality to education and professional services, the best of Birmingham has pledged its support for the highly-anticipated sequel to The Big Hoot, which attracted more than 800,000 visitors in 2015 and raised over £625,000 in total for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.

Companies such as London Midland, Millennium Point, Birmingham Airport, the SEA LIFE Centre, the Mailbox and The Schools of King Edward VI have all signed up to The Big Sleuth – so named because the collective noun for a group of bears is a sleuth – to allow up to 100 individually designed, 165cm tall, giant bear sculptures leave their paw prints all over the city for 10 weeks from July.

Additional businesses are now being sought by the charity to ensure The Big Sleuth goes off with a roar, by once again turning the spotlight on Bear-mingham this summer to help raise valuable funds to allow the children’s hospital continue its pioneering work.

Elinor Eustace, Deputy Director of Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the response to our second exciting project. Many of the businesses which got involved last year have been quick to return as the benefits to them were clear and met their wide variety of objectives, whether that was brand awareness, footfall, sales or as a staff and customer engagement tool.

“The Big Sleuth will be another fantastic spectacle for Birmingham. A limited number of sponsorship packages are still available and we hope the city’s industries and businesses will recognise the cultural benefits of getting involved, as well as the positives for the local community.”

Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity and creative producers Wild in Art have teamed up once again to bring this bear-illiant event to Birmingham. The free public art trail is expected to attract thousands of local, regional and national visitors to the city, as it did in 2015.

The award-winning Big Hoot made a significant contribution to the economic, cultural and social life of Birmingham. Over 800,000 visitors engaged with the owls, spending approximately £8 million as a result of their visit. Of this, seventy two per cent explored parts of Birmingham they hadn’t visited before, with fifty three per cent planning to revisit the places where they discovered the owls.

Joint Presenting Partner, Richard Brooks, Commercial Director at London Midland, added: “We’re very proud to be a part of The Big Sleuth and help support the incredible work taking place at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. London Midland is committed to getting closer to the communities we serve and encouraging healthier lifestyles across our network. This campaign will get people of all ages and backgrounds out having fun as they explore the vibrant city of Birmingham. We believe The Big Sleuth will be a roaring success and generate much-needed funds for this fantastic cause.”

The hospital charity intends that The Big Sleuth will be bigger and better than its predecessor, but needs the support of local companies to take up one of several sponsorship packages to allow the trail to cover as many of Birmingham’s ‘B’ postcodes as possible. Packages start from £6,000.

Sally-Ann Wilkinson, Director of Wild in Art, said: “We’re excited to be bringing a fun-filled, colourful summer of sun bears to the city. The Big Sleuth needs the support of businesses to make it even bigger and better, and previous sponsors, including The Schools of King Edward VI, Birmingham Airport and the Mailbox, are leading the way alongside our new sponsors. 

“It’s not too late to get involved with this year’s art trail, which once again promises to bring together business and creative sectors with schools and local communities, to celebrate Birmingham’s rich culture and heritage.”