Swerving East 'will be better than Larkin Toads'
THEY attracted more than 120,000 people into the city, with some visitors travelling from far and wide to view their unique designs.
The Larkin With Toads project may have initially been met with criticism in some quarters, but figures suggest they attracted 50,000 more visitors than the Hockney exhibition – itself hailed as a national success – while raising more than £50,000 for good causes.
Now the people behind the project are gearing up to create a public exhibition that they claim will be even bigger and better than the one provided by its amphibian predecessors.
And they claim the economic impact for local businesses is going to be huge, underlining how a strong cultural offering can result in millions of pounds of cash spending.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Elaine Burke, director at Three Ways East, who led the Larkin With Toads public art project along with colleague Clare Huby, said: "2010 was undoubtedly the year of the toad. Forty toad sculptures appeared overnight and landed on the streets as if by magic.
"More than 120,000 people came along to see them and the economic impact was estimated at more than £1 million, which is phenomenal.
"When you consider the project costs £258,000, that illustrates how important culture is to the economy."
At a gathering at The Deep, Elaine revealed the follow-on project would be entitled Swerving East.
She said: "Instead of travelling past Hull, we want to actively encourage people to 'swerve east' and see what the area has to offer.
"Our aim is to deliver an ambitious project that is fun, family-friendly and artistically excellent.
"The project is in the planning stage so far.
"We have already had discussions with some local businesses.
"In essence, we are looking to have three strands – something to do, something to see and something to think about.
"We need to be big and brave – let's be ambitious!"
Elaine was speaking about the next Larkin-inspired project to Hull and East Yorkshire Bondholders.
Other speakers included Pauline Davis of Hull City Council and Pete Irvine, managing director of Unique Events and one of the creative forces behind a host of major events, including Freedom Festival.