Life-Size Bricklive Ocean Trail a Success for Stirling

An ocean-themed trail featuring life-sized brick models of sea creatures has been hailed a success by retailers after attracting hundreds of extra visitors to Stirling. Go Forth Stirling BID brought BRICKLIVE’s Ocean tour – a trail featuring sharks, fish, crabs, turtles, squid, a coral reef and more – to the city centre during April.

Residents and visitors were entertained by the trail which featured 13 sculptures comprising more than 300,000 colourful bricks. A total of 1800 people picked up paper maps to follow the tour around the city while 575 signed up to an app which allowed users to take part in an interactive game featuring the Ocean Trail.

Danielle McRorie-Smith, Project Director at Go Forth Stirling, said: “We’re thrilled with the success of BRICKLIVE – which helped increase footfall for Stirling’s businesses and promote the city as a popular family destination. We were pleased to offer families the chance of a free activity during the Easter school holidays and we also had some great feedback from traders who reported more people coming into the city which meant they benefited from extra footfall and business.” 

One of the most popular sculptures was the giant squid in the Thistles which, along with the green turtle, mako shark and octopus, brought extra visitors into the Centre. The Thistles, who partnered with Go Forth on the initiative, also had a face painter who painted 121 faces during the event and a brick pit where children could play and create new models. And a lucky winner scooped an Ocean-themed LEGO bundle worth £200 after sharing their creations on social media.

In addition to the Ocean Trail, the BID organised an interactive game which participants could download via an app and dive beneath the waves to join Shelly Shark on her first migration while discovering all the BRICKLIVE sea models.

Meanwhile, several city centre businesses organised ocean-themed events and activities including film screenings, face painting, board game nights and arts and crafts sessions. A variety of life-sized models could be found across Stirling by following the Trail around the city and visiting a range of retailers including New Look, Blue Lagoon, Let’s Party, Contempo and Slaters.

Brown Bear Barbershop and Salon on Barnton Street had a colourful model of an angler fish in their shop. Owner Gregor Brown said: “It was great to be involved in the BRICKLIVE event this year. We had plenty of people at the window, interacting and taking part in the event. It also made for some good conversation with clients when they asked about it. We’d love to get involved again!”

Rosalind Houston, of Archie’s Pet Shop in King Street, enjoyed hosting a model of a spider crab created from 4,260 bricks in the shop. She said: “We felt an increase in street activity and lots of engagement from customers and liked the fact that the Trail made the street feel more alive. We were very happy to participate in the event.”

Staff at charity shop Something Old Something New said they were “really, really pleased with the whole experience” and set up a whole tropical background and origami decorations to help their parrotfish brick models look even more eye-catching. 

Port Street Gift shop Clan Artisan offered visitors the chance to create their own sea creature-themed artwork which could be added to various gifts while every child who created a design was given a free sea creature-inspired greeting card to colour in.

Co-owner Jen McEwan said: “It was great to be involved and the kids really enjoyed coming in and creating their own designs for personalised prints. In fact, the `colour your own postcard’ was such a hit, we will be continuing to offer them to youngsters while their parents are putting their gift boxes together in store.”

The BRICKLIVE Ocean tour is one of a number of initiatives provided by the BID with the aim of increasing footfall and attracting more visitors to Stirling.

The non-for-profit organisation was set up in 2017 and currently represents more than 600 local businesses with a key objective of delivering projects and services which improve Stirling’s trading environment to benefit businesses, shoppers and visitors. 

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