AN ‘Elephant Parade’ is coming to the intu Trafford Centre next week - and talented teams from Ashton on Mersey School and Stretford Grammar have each designed one of the ‘herd’.

The herd of painted elephant statues will be dotted around the shopping centre, as part of a major initiative to raise awareness of, and funds for, the Asian Elephant Foundation.

More than 100 elephants designed by a range of artists, celebrities and businesses make up the herd, which will remain at the Trafford Centre for four weeks.

And the teams from Ashton on Mersey and Stretford Grammar came out on top in a competition for schools to decorate an elephant in the tour.

Gordon McKinnon, regional centre director, said: “Elephant Parade has trail-blazed the way in combining fun with supporting an important cause, and their elephant statues have become iconic around the world.

“We wanted to make this tour the people’s parade – to enable people from all walks of life to be part of the Elephant Parade. Raising lasting awareness of the conservation issues is as important this time round as just raising money for the Asian elephant.

“We’ve capped the prices of tour elephants, so more people can get involved in fulfilling a dream to own one. Our schools programme, a digital tour and live painting workshops will give people more ways to get involved in the parade.

“Perhaps above all, this festival of colour will unite the communities of Manchester and give people from all walks of life a reason to smile as the elephants bring moments of surprise and delight that will make a normal day out quite special.”

The 375-day tour in partnership with intu, will take in 13 locations across the country.