Greater Manchester’s GC Business Growth Hub, part of the Growth Company, is using its involvement in the Bee in the City public art project to champion local firms who produce a range of bee-themed products.
Bee in the City is a spectacular public art trail taking place across Manchester this summer, presented by Wild In Art and Manchester City Council. Over 100 1.5 metre high bee sculptures each featuring a unique artist’s design, will form an interactive art trail across the city centre from late July.
GC Business Growth Hub’s bee, designed by cult Manchester graffiti artist Kelzo, will be called ‘Bee-lieve’ and will be positioned in a central Manchester location. Bee-lieve will carry a unique code that will unlock prizes and discounts on the Bee in the City app, which will be available from the Apple and Android stores.
Furthermore, the Hub plans to change its name on the day of the Bee in the City launch (23 July) to the ‘Buzzness Growth Hub’ – with its website and social media channels reflecting the temporary moniker.
In line with the theme of the art trail, the Hub has partnered with a selection of Greater Manchester SMEs who all have products which link to bees.
Bespoke luggage manufacturer Kitkase is giving away £1,000 worth of cases embossed with the City’s worker bee symbol, while stationery company Greentingles will be offering discounted prices on greeting cards and notebooks featuring a unique bee design.
Artworks from the Northern Quarter’s Sunflowers in the Sea gallery featuring bees, and the popular ‘Manchester’s legacy’ print from the Sense of Doubt art studio (which features a prominent bee icon at the start of the timeline) will also be up for grabs.
Greater Manchester companies who use bee products are also getting involved with the Hub’s sculpture.
Gourmet honey retailer Art of Honey is donating a 5kg jar of honey as a prize, Mrs Frisbee’s All Naturals will be offering 15% off beeswax skincare products, and Just Bee Drinks will have honey-infused beverages and packets of wildflower seeds to give away.
Bolton-based Soapy Skin, which has a number of honey-based soaps in their range, will also be taking part by offering free samples and discount codes. In addition, independent tea and coffee supplier Worker Bee will be donating some bee-branded mugs.
Hilary Centeleghe, Senior Growth Manager, GC Business Growth Hub said: “The Hub is all about supporting growing local businesses, so we wanted to use our involvement in Bee in the City to promote some of Greater Manchester’s most dynamic and exciting SMEs. However, we also wanted to reflect the overarching bee theme throughout our activity, so we looked to work with businesses who had bee-related merchandise.
“As a result, we have everything from honey-infused skincare, soaps and drinks through to designer suitcases and artwork featuring the iconic Manchester worker bee symbol.
“Having such a diverse range of products to promote through our Bee in the City sponsorship not only reflects the innovation within Greater Manchester’s thriving SME community, it also resonates with the creative spirit underpinning the Bee in the City project.”
Drawing on Manchester’s cultural and commercial heritage, the Hub’s bee artwork by Kelzo is a dazzling clash of artistic styles, colours and imagery. The images reflect a number of key Hub themes, including civic pride, the city’s constantly moving commercial landscape and how creativity and commerce work side-by-side to generate opportunities and spark innovation.
Running from 23 July until 23 September, the art trail is raising money for The Lord Mayor’s We Love MCR Charity through corporate sponsorship and an auction of the bee sculptures in October.