The Big Hoot flies into Fort Dunlop

Hospital event set for take off.

FD Owls 3

Fort Dunlop will be welcoming some feathered friends to its roof this week as it gears up to play its part in the city’s inaugural Big Hoot event for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

One of the event’s Presenting Partners, Fort Dunlop is also the location for the official sponsor and artist launch of The Big Hoot, which will see the owls land on the building’s iconic rooftop, 100 foot high, before they fly off to their perches across Birmingham for 10 weeks when everyone can admire them.

Presented by public art specialists Wild in Art, in partnership with Birmingham Children’s Hospital, The Big Hoot will see around 100 individually designed 165cm tall owl statues appearing throughout the city, helping to showcase the wide cultural appeal of Birmingham. This includes 10 community projects supported by Birmingham City Council, together with over 100 smaller owlets created by children from schools across the city.

The Big Hoot aims to inspire people to become a tourist in their own town. Owls will be placed not only in the city centre, but in a host of locations across all 10 districts of Birmingham encouraging residents to follow the trail and discover areas of the wider region which they may not have explored before.

As well as being one of the trail locations, with three sponsored owls taking up residency for the summer, Fort Dunlop will also host The Big Hoot auction preview, which will take place at the end of the trail, to raise significant funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

The project is the latest high profile public art project from creative producers Wild in Art who have created similar events such as Gromit Unleashed in Bristol, the Year of the Bus Sculpture Trails in London, Go Superlambananas for Liverpool’s 08 Capital of Culture celebrations, attracting worldwide headlines.

Libby Witherden, Head of Marketing and Events at Fort Dunlop, said: “The Big Hoot is such a fantastic campaign that has already built a lot of excitement and momentum, both at Fort Dunlop and across the city. We’re so proud to be a Presenting Partner and are looking forward to welcoming visitors on The Big Hoot trail throughout the summer.”

Sally-Ann Wilkinson, Director of Wild in Art said: “We are delighted to welcome Fort Dunlop as Presenting Partner of The Big Hoot. Our public art projects have a proven track record of increasing tourism and heightening the profile of our host cities, and we’re confident that this will continue in Birmingham, as visitors and residents alike discover the city through this unique and visually stunning artistic trail.”

Elinor Eustace, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, said: “We’re delighted to have Fort Dunlop involved as Presenting Partner of The Big Hoot. Thanks to them and our other corporate partners we will ultimately be able to fund some important projects for the children and young people at our hospital and for that we’re immensely grateful.”