Bristol Children’s Hospital charity Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal has revealed which beloved Aardman character will take to the streets of Bristol for its third major arts trail with the Academy Award-winning animation studio – except it’s not one but three sculptures appearing in the 2018 event.

Returning to the city for his second starring role in the charity’s 2018 sculpture trail is Nick Park’s adorable canine character Gromit, joined by his pal Wallace and arch nemesis Feathers McGraw!

“Ever since we confirmed a third arts trail earlier this year, we’ve been blown away by public support from across the country and around the world,” said Nicola Masters, director of Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal. “Gromit is so well loved and has universal appeal, and since our inaugural trail in 2013, he has gone on to help us raise over £6million for Bristol Children’s Hospital. Wallace and Gromit have played a huge part in our 22-year history as a charity, and it’s wonderful to have them both join us for our next fundraising adventure, with super villain and pesky penguin-in-disguise Feathers coming along for the ride!”

From 2 July until 2 September, over 60 sculptures will descend on Bristol and will raise money for Bristol Children’s Hospital and the Special Care Baby Unit at St Michael’s Hospital. The award-winning charity has raised over £50million to save lives and support sick children and their families at Bristol Children’s Hospital since 1995. Funds raised have helped, and are helping, patients and their families in the hospital to have access to the best medical care, pioneering equipment, expert doctors and nurses, family accommodation and patient activities.

Dr Giles Haythornthwaite, Emergency Department consultant and major trauma lead at Bristol Children’s Hospital added: “We’ve worked in partnership with The Grand Appeal for over two decades, together providing leading, lifesaving care to hundreds and thousands of sick children and babies from across the South West and beyond. The enormous support of the charity has helped us become the world leading children’s hospital we are today.

“The trails bring a real sense of excitement to the young patients we care for, and will help us continue to provide the world-class treatment they need and deserve. The team and I at Bristol Children’s Hospital can’t wait for the trail to start.”

Not only will this be the first sculpture trail in the world to feature three licensed characters, a number of Bristol’s leading institutions, pioneering technology companies and international engineering firms will bring their renowned expertise to make this the most innovative sculpture trail yet.

Nicola continued: “When we started planning this trail, we knew that we wanted to create a truly unique, trailblazing event. Bristol is recognised internationally for both art and technology, but our vision was to bring the two traditionally separate disciplines together. Where better to do this than the UK’s most inspiring city?

“We’re looking forward to working with organisations at the forefront of their respective fields to take this trail to unprecedented and exciting places. All of them, like us, have a rich heritage in this wonderful city that we’re proud to call home.”

Wallace & Gromit creator Nick Park and Aardman founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton are hugely excited too: “It’s been nearly a quarter of a century since we brought Wallace, Gromit and Feathers together in The Wrong Trousers, and we’re delighted that they’ll be together once again in our home city of Bristol.

“The Grand Appeal trails have raised an incredible amount of money for a cause that’s very close to all of our hearts here at Aardman. We can’t wait to see our beloved characters take the city by storm next summer, putting smiles on the faces of the many families and friends who adore these trails.”

There are limited sponsorship opportunities available, so visit gromitunleashed.org.uk/sponsors today to find out more.

If you’re interested in applying to design a sculpture, or if you’d like to find out more about our schools programme, visit gromitunleashed.org.uk.