A BRADFORD on Avon hotelier is appealing to the town’s businesses to help give the local economy a boost by sponsoring one of the Minerva owls.

The new public art trail event in Bath this summer will see 100 Minerva owl sculptures decorated by local artists and celebrities displayed in the city centre and surrounding area.

James Sullivan-Tailyour, the owner of the Swan Hotel, is urging the town’s businesses to help bring one of them to Bradford on Avon to help boost tourism and the local economy.

He said: “We are looking for businesses, community groups or anyone else who wants to help us get a Minerva owl to Bradford on Avon to become a sponsor - they can do this for £100.

“We are hoping to raise the £3,300 needed to purchase an owl and then get it decorated to take part in the public art trail. But we need to raise the funds as soon as possible.

“We’ve already received the offer of £1,000 support from Bradford on Avon Town Council and as well as pledges from 10 businesses of £100 each.

“We need to raise a further £1,300 from the local community before the June 8 deadline for decoration.”

“All the owls will then be photographed for a website and catalogue and have to be ready for the public launch on June 25.”

The Minerva owl art trail is taking place from June 25 to September 10 and will include Cumberwell Park Golf & Country Club and Frome. At the end of the summer, they will be auctioned off to raise thousands of pounds for charity.

The Minerva owl is based on a Little Owl with a hint of Roman and Greek characterisation. They have been inspired by an owl image from the elaborately carved pediment of the Sulis Minerva temple at the Bath Roman Baths.

Each 1.1-metre owl on the trail will contain an interactive GPS beacon. Owl hunters will be able to download an app which will signal when they are close to one of the owls on the trail.

As owl fans approach, the information on each owl will pop up on the app users’ mobile phones, including its photo, sponsor logos and artist’s names, with links to their websites, as well as fun questions to answer at each owl to unlock prizes and special offers.

Mr Sullivan-Tailyour added: “Previous sculpture trails, such as King Bladud’s pigs in 2008 and the Lions of Bath in 2010, have attracted thousands of visitors to Bath and the surrounding area and have boosted the local economy by hundreds of thousands of pounds.

“We’re hoping that by bringing one of the Minerva owls to Bradford on Avon we can help attract some of these visitors to the town and provide a boost to the town’s shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants and other businesses.If you wish to help, please contact Mr Sullivan-Tailyour at james@theswanbradford.co.uk or call 01225 868686 as soon as possible.