Over 150 professionals from across the city attended an exclusive Big Sleuth event on Thursday 2 March to get their first glimpse of the paw-some bears that will be leaving their mark all over Birmingham this summer.

With names such as Shakesbear, Gas Street Bearsin, Thread-bear, Bhangra Bear and Bee My Honey (Bear); the concepts had been in hi-bear-nation before the business community were invited to choose which of the stunning designs would make it to the streets.

Louise McCathie, Birmingham Children's Hospital

Louise McCathie, Birmingham Children’s Hospital

Over 200 designs were submitted by national, regional and local artists, of which up to 100 will now be brought to life, thanks to the corporate sponsors who have helped to put the trail on.

The Big Sleuth, so named because sleuth is the collective noun for a group of bears, is 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.

Working in partnership, Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity and creative producers Wild in Art will bring the 165cm-tall sculptures to Birmingham for 10 weeks during the summer, showcasing the extraordinary creativity of some of the most talented artists across the region.

At the end of the free public art trail, which is expected to attract thousands of local, regional and national visitors to the city, the bears will be auctioned with all proceeds going to Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.

Elinor Eustace, Deputy Director of Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “The Big Sleuth will be another fantastic spectacle for our region, encouraging us all to become tourists in our home town.

“It will also ultimately allow us to fund some important projects for the children and young people at our hospital and for that we’re immensely grateful to our corporate partners who have helped us to put the trail on.”

Final businesses are now being sought to ensure The Big Sleuth goes off with a roar.

Sally-Ann Wilkinson, Director of Wild in Art, said: “There’s just a couple of weeks left 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.”

Find out more about the sponsorship opportunities on offer.

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