Now playing
Pink Trustfall

Derby Ram Trail brought £1.4 million boost to city economy in just three months

The Derby Ram Trail brought a £1.4 million boost to the city’s economy as it recovered from the coronavirus lockdown.

Derby Museums, which ran the city’s first ever sculpture trail, said that over 75 per cent of people surveyed following the initiative said they spent over £10 as they tried to spot all 30 rams, with groups spending an average of £35 in the city.

The trail, which ran from May to August 2021, welcomed thousands of visitors to Derby, with research showing that over half of people visited the city more than once to complete the trail and over 70 per cent were inspired to return in future.

Over the three months of the trail, over 32,000 maps were distributed and over 4,000 schoolchildren also took part in a Mini Rams competition from 21 city schools.

Tony Butler, Executive Director of Derby Museums, said: “Bringing the Ram Trail to Derby has been a great way to galvanise local businesses and artists to create a fun and accessible focus in the city centre at a time when it was needed the most.

“After an arduous lockdown, the trail helped many people to reconnect and rediscover their city.

“The impact of the trail, led by Derby Museums, on the city’s recovery proves the incredibly important part culture has to play in the life of a city. We would like to offer our thanks to all of the sponsors, artists, funders, schools, organisations, individuals and volunteers who came together to help us realise this fantastic project.”

The 30 rams were auctioned off at a glitzy ceremony hosted by TV personality Charles Hanson at the city’s Museum of Making at the Derby Silk Mill in September, and can now be found in new homes across Derbyshire and in the wider country.

Thirteen of the 15 rams that remained on public display after the trail can still be spotted around Derby, and a legacy app allows people to continue following the trial to find 3D images of the rams in their original positions.

A staggering total of £172,000 was raised on the night which was doubled by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, meaning the auction raised £344,000 for the Derby Museums Endowment Fund.

The highest-selling sculpture was the Royal Ram, which took pride of place on St Peter’s Street during the three months of the trail and sold for a whopping £16,500.

The rams became a popular and welcome addition to the city throughout last summer, with people from across the UK coming to walk, run, roller skate and cycle the route.

Read more stories about Derby city centre

It is hoped that the Ram Trail will be the first of many and will also contribute to Derby’s bid to become the UK City of Culture in 2025.

Adam Buss, chief executive of QUAD and Derby City of Culture bid director, said: “Derby is a city that has always had creativity and innovation at its heart, and we believe that every resident and visitor should benefit from the power of arts and culture to make change for the better.

“Culture is fundamental to Derby’s ambition to create a confident, diverse economy, and a place of health and happiness.

“The positive impact made by the Derby Ram Trail is another good example of how important culture can be for our city, and it is projects like this that show our bid for City of Culture 2025 to be all the more pertinent.”

The sculptures were in place from May 27 to August 25 at some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the cathedral, the new Museum of Making and the Council House.

They celebrated the area’s sporting, cultural and industrial history and are all sponsored by local businesses, including the Derby Telegraph, Rolls-Royce and Derby County FC.

Each ram weighed around 70 kilos and was five feet high, with all of them painted by a local emerging artist showcases a variety of styles and outfits, from graffiti to illustration, football kits to superhero costumes.

To read all the biggest and best stories first sign up to read our newsletters here.