A troop of 31 gorillas are preparing to descend upon Norwich for a special art event this summer – and the charity bringing them here is hoping local businesses will help a further 20 apes join in the project.

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The Go Go Gorillas project! is being organised to raise funds for the young people’s charity Break and the Born Free Foundation, and it will see a trail of specially decorated gorilla sculptures spread throughout the city from the end of June.

So far, about 30 businesses and organisations have signed up to sponsor a sculpture, and about half of these have now been decorated with innovative designs with everything from a Superman gorilla to a jungle scene, to a Freddie Mercury-inspired ape.

One of the latest designs features a gorilla dressed in the Norwich City football strip.

Martin Green, fundraising officer for Break, said he was delighted with how the project was going and urged more businesses and organisations to get involved and sponsor a gorilla. “It is amazing to see the response we have had. We are trying to reach a target of 50 gorillas and we are well on the way,” he said.

“The people of Norwich have remembered the elephants and have embraced what we are doing with the gorillas.”

He said that as well as benefiting the two charities, the trail would be a great boost to the city. “The event itself is supporting Norwich. It is about bringing people to the city, increasing business and footfall.

“The more people we can get involved, the bigger the event can be,” he said. Many of the gorilla sculptures have been decorated by artists working in the Castle Mall over the past few weeks.

The artists have now moved out of the unit at the shopping centre, and now Break is looking for a new place for them to work. “The Castle Mall painting space was really successful in terms of highlighting what we are doing, and it would be nice to find another space in Norwich city centre,” said Mr Green.

“If any business has some available space we could use please get in touch. The space would need to be big enough to fit in two or three gorillas. It would be a great PR opportunity as well as a great way to be involved in the project.”

The trail is set to start in the city in June. It is hoped that by the end of February all business sponsors will be signed up and will have chosen their artist and design for their gorilla, and that all the gorillas will be decorated by May.

Sponsors signed up so far: Carters; City College Norwich; Norse; Clapham & Collinge; MoCo; EDP and Norwich Evening News; Smith and Pinching; Butcher Andrews; Starfish Installations; Camphill Community; Proclaimers (Space); Almary Green; Norwich School; Riverside (X-Leisure) and Castle Mall are both sponsoring two gorillas; Jarrolds; Assembly House; Geoffrey Watling Charity; Aspiration Europe; The Forum; Jungle PR; Anglian Home Improvements; BrandBank; Think Mobile Media; Norfolk FA; John Lewis; TW Gaze Chartered Surveyors and Auctioneers; Ridgeons.

Businesses interested in sponsoring a gorilla should call Mr Green on 01603 670107, or email martin.g@break-charity.org

For more information visit www.gogogorillas.co.uk

Are you involved in a new art project in Norwich? Call Emma Knights on 01603 772428, or email emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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