A GIANT wooden horse will bring the streets to a standstill when it is paraded through Teesside this weekend.

The Gresham horse, a five metre tall wooden structure on wheels, will make its first outing on Sunday.

Throughout the summer, a diverse group of people from the Gresham area of Middlesbrough and its surroundings worked together at mima to create the striking creature.

Portuguese artist Isabel Lima spearheaded the initiative, which forms part of her Broken Chords Can Sing a Little project.

It was inspired by her love of Gresham and its people and a desire to bring together the multi-cultural community, spark new friendships and create a lasting symbol.

Those participating included refugees and asylum seekers settled in Gresham as well as residents born around Teesside, artists, professionals and art collective Tilt.

Ms Lima said: “It has been inspired by the Trojan Horse myth, when the Greeks tried to take control of the city of Troy.

“It’s about the community coming together, building something together and taking ownership of their neighbourhood.

“The horse is just an excuse to bring people together in a community where there are a lot of different ethnicities that do not mix – it’s a way of trying to get past that issue.

“We’ve had people from all over the world join in, from North Africa, Syria, Uganda and other places.

“It’s been amazing to see those of different backgrounds coming together and friendships blossoming.”

She added: “Seeing the horse going up after months of seeing it on paper was an astonishing moment and everyone is excited.

“Gresham has amazing people but it is a neighbourhood with issues, with people who have been displaced, some of them as a result of the regeneration project.

"It is important to make something that is beautiful and monumental as a gift to this community.”

Ex-Gresham resident Ian Robinson took part and said: “Seeing something go from an unlikely idea and a cardboard model to this giant wooden beast is something I’ll never forget and as a community orientated event I can’t fault it. Gresham has had really hard times and anything to bring out the positive is good.”

The horse will set off from mima’s carpark at 2pm on Sunday and will travel via Borough Road to Union Street before stopping in an area where homes have been demolished. People are invited to gather there to enjoy a picnic together. Following the event, the horse will be kept at the Newport Community Hub for a month.