LANCASHIRE businesses have lined up to support the world’s first Truck Trail – a unique project to celebrate Leyland’s industrial heritage.
The Truck Trail, which will be unveiled in Leyland, Preston in April 2017, is designed to inspire a future generation of skilled workers while creating a striking feature for the local town.
The iconic truck designs are the brainchild of Shane Friend, Managing Director of specialist automotive marketing agency, Stone Create, a business that prides itself on delivering high quality, creative marketing ideas.
Mr Friend said: “To see my initial idea for a Truck Trail come to life was incredibly rewarding and I cannot wait to see them all be craned into place.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for Leyland and one that I am incredibly humbled to be part of. As specialists in the automotive industry, this unique project couldn’t be any more perfect for us to work on.”
Snaking from Leyland railway station to the award-winning Worden Park – 13 6ft-high trucks, each with its own character and personality, will form an interactive trail.
The trucks are all designed around a vehicle produced by Leyland Trucks since its inception in 1896, and boast names including ‘Super Hippo’, ‘The Comet’ and ‘Military Martian.’
Each truck is manufactured from a welded steel frame before being put on display in April – and the businesses that sponsor the trucks get to keep them after the Truck Trail finishes in September.
The Truck Trail celebrates more than 100 years of truck manufacturing in Leyland and will take inspiration from the success of the Superlambanana scheme in Liverpool.
The venture will link up with an education project that aims to encourage more young people to learn about engineering.
The scheme is self-funding, with each truck sponsored by a local business which has their brand advertised within the design.
Part of the sponsorship money will fund an education programme in schools throughout the borough to teach children about careers opportunities in advanced manufacturing and engineering under the banner of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
The education programme will continue over a number of years and schools will be given resources and STEM volunteers will support delivery.
School children will also be given the chance to design the 14th truck – based on the idea of ‘truck of the future.’
Councillor Peter Mullineaux, Leader of South Ribble Borough Council, said: “The idea for the trail is absolutely fantastic – a dream for Leyland.
“Truck manufacturing is right at the very heart of the fabric of the town and sewn into its heritage – the very heritage which this trail will celebrate in abundance.
“We’re hoping to draw crowds from far and wide – offering a boost to the town and supporting our local businesses.
“We also hope to inspire a future generation with a full educational package which will run alongside the display. The designs will capture the imagination of children of all ages – even the big kids amongst us!”
Helen Heggie, Director of STEMfirst, said: “The UK STEM skills shortage means it is imperative that employers and education work together to inspire the next generation, helping young people see STEM as a job for them and developing the key skills that employers will require from their future workforce.
“Truck Trail is a perfect vehicle for schools, employers, young people and their carers to get involved. This is an incredible opportunity for local employers to inform, inspire and educate the next generation about the career opportunities, skills requirements and businesses on their doorsteps.”
Leyland Trucks, sponsor of the Truck Trail project is universally recognised as one of Britain’s leading manufacturing companies.
Ivan Shearer, HR Director at Leyland Trucks, said: “Leyland Trucks and DAF Trucks UK are proud to sponsor this exciting local community project.
“It is particularly pleasing to work with the project partners to encourage our local education sector to develop their vision of what a future truck might look like, and in doing so we will help inspire the next generation of manufacturers and engineers.”