Barons to blaze trail through Lincoln for Magna Carta celebrations

A family of sculpted Barons will come to Lincoln city centre to create a special Charter Trail as part of the 800th anniversary celebrations of the Magna Carta.

The collection of at least 15 individually designed sculptures will be situated at various locations across the city centre in time for the Magna Carta Weekend – June 13 and 14, through to mid-September.

The Lincoln Business Improvement Group (BIG) has teamed-up with Wild in Art to devise the quirky trail – which will also take place in Salisbury, Lincoln’s sister Magna Carta city.

Businesses are being offered the opportunity to get themselves noticed by thousands of tourists and shoppers, by signing-up to be part of Lincoln’s Magna Carta 800th Anniversary celebrations and sponsoring a Baron.

Sponsors get a professionally-designed Baron sculpture which includes their company name, logo and details displayed on a plinth – and this figure will form part of the display around Lincoln throughout this summer.

The company will be invited to view and be consulted on designs from a wealth of local artistic talent and this initiative gives businesses a chance to engage staff, customers and associate with their uniquely decorated sculpture.

Other benefits include – using the Baron and the overall Barons’ Charter Trail to raise awareness of their brand, having their company details included on the Barons’ Charter Trail website and an invitation to official Barons’ Charter Trail events.

The sponsor’s brand will also feature on an exclusive Barons’ Charter Trail map, which will be available both on and offline.

Lincoln BIG’s sister organisation Visit Lincoln is also organising a treasure hunt encouraging people to “collect” all of the Barons.

Lincoln BIG Chief Executive Matt Corrigan said: “We think this is going to be a fabulous fun trail and we can’t think of a better way for a business to promote itself during what promises to be a key year in Lincoln’s history,

“Each Baron starts out as a blank sculpture but, once it has been sponsored, it could become a construction Baron, engineer Baron, craftsman Baron, lawyer Baron or even a Steampunk Baron. They will all be individual and the possibilities are endless.

“Ten sponsors have already rushed to reserve their Barons, so we encourage other businesses to act fast so that they don’t miss out. We are planning a high-profile marketing campaign promoting the trail through printed leaflets and also online.

“Ideally we would love to get to 25 Barons, which is the number who actually made King John agree to the Magna Carta, but we will need sufficient sponsors to achieve this.

“There is also another brilliant reason for becoming a sponsor. Each of the Barons will be auctioned off in aid of the Trussell Trust – a national charity which operates foodbanks and a proportion of the monies raised will be used in projects in the Lincoln area.”

Magna Carta Carnival

Magna Carta on its US tour in 2014. Image: Getty

Magna Carta on its US tour in 2014. Image: Getty

Lincoln BIG has also received a £10,000 grant towards staging a special carnival as part of Magna Carta Weekend (June 13 and 14).

Lincoln BIG has also bid to other sources, such as the Arts Council, Lincolnshire County Council and the Lincoln Cultural Arts Partnership, with the aim of securing funds to further boost this highlight in the city’s events calendar.

Matt Corrigan added:“2015 is a milestone year. Lincoln Cathedral owns one of only four surviving copies of 1215 Magna Carta – as well as the 1217 Charter of the Forest (which added to Magna Carta’s freedoms). We are the only place in the world where people can see these two documents at the same time.”