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10 July 2014

Happy 1st Anniversary Gromit Unleashed!

This time last year, a charity spectacle was capturing the imagination of hundreds of thousands of people world-wide, raising millions of pounds to help sick children in Bristol and across the region.

Gromit Unleashed fever gripped the city as 80 giant sculptures of Aardman's lovable canine character formed a public arts trail in Bristol and the surrounding areas, before raising £2.3m at auction for Bristol Children's Hospital charity, Wallace & Gromit's Grand Appeal.

As the award-winning event, celebrates its first anniversary, the Grand Appeal can announce that to date the charity has raised £4.5 million towards the expansion of the hospital. This exceeds its initial £3.5 million pledge and puts its overall target of £5m firmly in sight.

The success of Gromit Unleashedhas attracted visitors and attention from across the globe and as the first year anniversary takes place in Bristol, Gromit Unleashedis being launched in Hong Kong. Wallace & Gromit fans in the Far East will be queuing up to see 'The Greatest Dog Show on Earth in Asia', the first exhibition of its kind taking place at The Elements shopping mall this July.

To celebrate Gromit Unleashed's first anniversary, a brand new look for theGromit Unleashedshop situated at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway in Bristol will be unveiled, with a specially commissioned 5ft high Gromit legacy sculpture as its centre-piece.

"Facts The Way we did it, LAD!" designed by Aardman's Gavin Strange, will take up permanent residence at the retail emporium and exhibition space, which continues to attract thousands of Wallace & Gromit fans and customers from the Bristol, the South West and throughout the UK.

The new sculpture will reveal the success of Gromit Unleashedwith a vibrant design depicting statistics and fun facts about the trail. "Facts The Way we did it, LAD!" is a take on Gavin's original sculpture 'Stat's The Way to do it, LAD, which was displayed outside Aardman's headquarters during the trail and fetched £29,000 at auction.

As well as selling exclusive Gromit Unleashed merchandise - including the range of collectable Gromit figurines - the re-styled shop will house a window exhibition of customer-designed Paint Your Own Gromit figurines; original sets from Aardman's Wallace & Gromit films, including the rocket inspired by 'A Grand Day Out' and a creative activity area. A programme of summer events will also take place including plasticine modelling workshops and cupcake decorating masterclasses.

To find out more, people can check out the new-look Gromit Unleashed website at, which has been re-designed with extra features including an updated online sales system and forthcoming highlights such as the Gromit Unleashed Collector's Club.

Nicola Masters, director of The Grand Appeal said: "To be celebrating the success of Gromit Unleashed a year since its launch, is an amazing testimony to the popularity of Gromit and the fundraising cause. We can't thank our supporters and customers enough for taking the campaign to their hearts and their continued loyalty in ensuring its ongoing success. We couldn't be more proud of how our original trail of giant Gromits has turned into an exciting charity brand, that just keeps growing.

"We would also like to thank The Mall for its incredible support in showcasing Gromit Unleashed to shoppers throughout the region." 

The marketing team at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway has been recognised within the UK and international shopping centre sector, recently winning a community relations Purple Apple merit award for Gromit Unleashed at The Mall, and an ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centres) European Award.

The funds raised by the Grand Appeal are providing pioneering medical equipment, family facilities and an on-going programme of arts, music, education and play to support the recent transfer of specialist paediatric services from Frenchay hospital to Bristol Children's Hospital.

Since 1995, Wallace & Gromit's Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children's Hospital Charity, has raised over £28 million. Bristol Children's Hospital is one of only a few specialist children's hospitals in the UK providing life-saving surgery, care and treatment to children on a local, national and international scale.