National Self Build & Renovation Centre Logo close Menu
Book Free Now

Find ‘Sparky’ the NSBRC’s Swindog at the Centre!

Our tails were wagging over the summer as we supported the Big Dog Art Trail in Swindon. The Trail concluded with the thrill of a grand auction, and we were determined to bring our Swindog, 'Sparky', home. We were delighted that we were able to make a significant bid to, not only secure Sparky’s return to the NSBRC, but also provide a financial boost to such a deserving charity.

Over 23,000 people went walkies along the pioneering balloon dog trail, as these amazing sculptures brought a burst of colour to our home town.

Helping to raise vital funds to care for local seriously ill children and their families, we joined several local and national businesses, as one of the trail sponsors, in support of Julia’s House, the Wiltshire’s children’s hospice charity. 30 super-sized balloon dogs (or ‘Swindogs’) and 42 super-cute ‘Swinpups’, designed by professional artists, schools and community groups, created a free and accessible trail through some of Swindon’s best-loved landmarks, parks and public spaces from 15th July to the 3rd September.

Our sculpture ‘Sparky’ was designed by Alice Irvine, a third-year BA Illustration student at Swindon’s New College. The colour gradient is based on energy efficiency charts, moving from reds representing less energy efficient buildings, to greens representing more energy efficient ones. The pattern of the houses and buildings drawn over the top of the design represents the journey to make homes more energy efficient. We used Sparky to help spread awareness of practical and affordable options to reduce energy bills for residents of Swindon with every visitor to the dog receiving a free ‘energy efficient home guide’.

It has been a delight to be a small part of the world’s first balloon dog sculpture art trail!

When we heard there was an opportunity to be involved, and to support our local community as well as the fabulous team at Julia’s House, we had to sign up! Many of our team have enjoyed discovering the amazing array of beautifully painted dogs with their families over the summer and we all fell in love with our dog.

It has been a pleasure to be involved in this wonderful event and Sparky will no doubt be the star of many a selfie at the NSBRC!

You can find out more about the wonderful work of Julia’s House at:

Latest articles

NSBRC | Foothills under 14s football team trophies

The NSBRC backs local youth football team for success!

We are delighted to announce our sponsorship of the U14s Foothills football team for the 2024/25 season. The team are part of the Wims11 Football Academy, based in Swindon.

NSBRC | The Festival of Sustainable Homes

The Festival of Sustainable Homes Review - May 2024

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our first ever Festival of Sustainable Homes. We hope you enjoyed this new event as much as we enjoyed hosting it!

This year we gave an exciting new look and feel to the Spring/Summer edition of our National Self Build & Renovation Show, shining a spotlight on Sustainability as a topic we’re passionate about, and an ever-increasing consideration for our visitors. The two-day festival combined the spirit of a vibrant, family-friendly event, highlighting how we can all live more sustainably in our homes and communities - with all the invaluable self build and renovation resources which are always at the heart of our shows.

May Trade Village Newsletter 2024

Our Trade Village is home to over 200 permanent exhibitors, chosen for their respected, relevant offerings and their knowledge of the self build and renovation community.

Many will be attending our highly anticipated Festival of Sustainable Homes in just under a week. This brand new event serves as a platform for sharing innovative ideas and sustainable solutions for all homebuilding projects. It's an exciting opportunity for attendees to gather insights, discover new trends, and share plans with industry professionals.

Read on for this month's news and highlights from the Trade Village...