NEWPORT’S popular SuperDragons project will return to the city centre next year to celebrate London’s hosting of the Olympic Games.

Following the overwhelming success of last year’s statues, new designs will be made and decorated with a sporting theme to tie in with the 2012 competition.

The 60 SuperDragons will once again be made by Brighton-based company Wild in Art and local companies will be invited to sponsor the sculptures, which they can then keep after the project has ended. It is not yet known who will design the artwork.

Council leader Matthew Evans said: “The SuperDragons got everyone in the city talking about them and will be the highlight of the Newport Festival next summer.”

The project was an overwhelming success last year with thousands of people following the SuperDragons trail and, as a result, visiting Newport’s tourist hotspots including the Transporter Bridge and Newport Wetlands. Last year’s dragons, which were designed by artists from all over the country boasted a number of eyecatching designs including ones inspired by everything from Newport Gwent Dragons to Elvis and Barbie.

At the end of the exhibition they were auctioned off, raising almost £100,000 for charities Tenovus and the Born Free Foundation.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Delightful dragons

WE welcome the return of the SuperDragons to Newport. The dragon models were extremely popular when they were put up to mark the Ryder Cup being staged here.

New ones will be brought in next year to mark the UK hosting the Olympic Games in London.

The only shame is that after the Olympics they will disappear again. Local companies which sponsor the dragons will this time get to keep the sculptures.

Let’s hope some of the firms decide to allow them to remain in place.

They were enjoyed by so many – especially children – last time. A more permanent display like some other cities would be a wonderful addition.