Giant Gromits inspire Christmas tree trail planned for Adelaide

They are the public art trails which have taken the world by storm: the famous Berlin bears, the Easter egg hunt in New York and Gromit Unleashed in Bristol.

Now Adelaide is about to join that illustrious list, with its own Christmas tree trail.

In a bid to bring festive fun to the Adelaide Riverbank and attract visitors near and far, Renewal SA has sought tenders for the $40,000 project.

The pitch?

To design and manufacture up to 30 Christmas tree sculptures.

Each should be at least 1.2 metres tall, but no more than 2.5 metres (which includes the tree and a stand).

They must be identical and have a surface colour and finish so they are effectively a 'blank canvas'.

Then they will be decorated and customised by businesses, artists, fashion designers and local celebrities.

Where will they be installed?

Along the southern bank of the River Torrens, concentrated at Elder Park and old Royal Adelaide Hospital site.

When does the project begin?

Tenders close on September 1 but the trees will need to be manufactured and ready for delivery on October 6.

Why will the trees be put up?

Renewal SA wants to create a memorable and fun trail along the Riverbank to enhance the area's reputation as a go-to destination for entertainment and recreation.

How has it worked in other cities?

In 2013, 80 giant sculptures of Aardman Animations character Gromit, of Wallace and Gromit fame, popped up around the streets of Bristol in the United Kingdom.

Gromit Unleashed project manager Lauren Howard said the trail took about two years to create, but it was a hit.

"These art trails really capture the imagination of the public," she said.

"Firstly they're free, secondly they're something all ages can enjoy and people really enjoy exploring their city."

Each sculpture was individually decorated by famous names and after 10 weeks on display, they went to auction.

"The main aim was always to raise funds for the Bristol Children's Hospital Charity and we managed to raise £2.3 million."

What impact did they have on Bristol?

"Bristol has a fantastic reputation as a vibrant artistic city and the trail really added to that. It gave £123 million to the Bristol economy," Ms Howard said.

"We won tourism, retail and charity awards and it was so successful we did another trail in 2015 with Shaun the Sheep and repeated that success.

"The fact that it boosted the economy and really engaged local people was a real bonus and we loved that."

The Bristol team is working on a yet-to-be-revealed third trail for 2018.

Where are the Gromits now?

"They were bought by people all over the world, but about 50 per cent stayed in Bristol," Ms Howard said.

"Some were bought by local companies so we can still see them in windows, and in gardens and sometimes on balconies in the city. I think there's even one on a houseboat."

Any words of wisdom for Adelaide?

"It's such a fun project and at the very heart of it is that creativity and also the goodwill," Ms Howard said.

"I would encourage whoever is running the trail to auction them for charity or find a way to fundraise, whether it be connecting through the community and schools and local businesses.

"It's a great way for a community to get involved and bring a city together. And the fact that it is going to be at Christmas is the perfect time to capture the spirit of the city and raise money."