Back in Spring 2019, we were invited to be the first ‘Swansor’ for the outdoor art trail by Burton Swans. Project manager Tilley Bancroft (Red Door Studios) invited businesses and organisations to sponsor uniquely designed swans. Each Swan was to be sat on a base bearing the name of the sponsors. 

The wood for the swans was provided by Harlow Timber, and members of our team at Hardy Signs used the CNC router to cut out the swans. Students from Burton and South Derbyshire college volunteered to help prime the swans ready for the artists to paint the designs on. Established and emerging artists were invited to submit designs for the swans. Sponsors were then able to choose their favourite from the approved designs. 

The outdoor art trail went live in August of 2020 and ran for 10 weeks till October. The swans were placed in the streets and in open spaces and public areas of Burton. A mobile app was used to help people to plot a route around the trail, discover the story behind each swan, its’ artist and its’ sponsor. The app allowed visitors and locals to unlock rewards offered by sponsors. Towards the end of October, the swans were auctioned off to raise money for Burton and District YMCA

YMCA Burton and District is an independent Christian charity helping people in crisis regardless of faith, gender, race or ability. 

The charity believes that everyone deserves a place to call home and it provides 71 rooms across three sites for people who are homeless. They also provide practical and emotional support to equip people with the skills and confidence they need to build a brighter future where they can belong, contribute and thrive in our community. 

A YMCA food bank, based at the Reconnect Centre on James Street in Burton, issues emergency supplies all-year-round to people in crisis and four YMCA shops provide affordable furniture for families across Staffordshire and Derbyshire. 

Our Business Relationship Manager, Adam Bates, had this to say: “The Burton Swans initiative offered instant appeal to Hardy Signs. As a company, we are keen advocates of the region in which we operate, and so we recognised the project as a great opportunity to celebrate the creativity, the heritage, and the community spirit that is prevalent.

We’re delighted to be involved and we are sure the project will have a hugely positive impact, inspiring pride across the town. It’s also fitting that, in the process, the project will help those in our community who need it most; through the incredible work of the Burton & District YMCA. We cannot wait to see the Burton Swans in all their glory”

We are pleased to be given the first choice in the selection of the design for our swan. Our team decided to go for the ‘Climate Change’ swan, which visually shows the impact that we have on the environment.


As a company, we strive to use machinery, processes and materials that enable us to protect the environment – as much as possible – and this was acknowledged by the judging team from Rolls-Royce in 2019 which selected us at the Manufacturer of the Year at East Midlands Chamber of Commerce Awards. If you would like more information, please contact us


About the company: Hardy Signs is a professional and digital signage company that designs, manufactures and installs bespoke signage products to a wide range of business sectors in the United Kingdom. The company has been awarded the manufacturer of the year in 2019 and 2020.

Like what you see here?

Get in touch with us to see how we can help your business or brand.

Call us on 01283 569 102

Contact us.