Newcastle-Gateshead will host the Great Exhibition of the North, Culture Secretary Karen Bradley announced today.
The Exhibition will showcase the great creative, cultural and design sectors in the city and across the whole of the North of England.
The Government is contributing £5 million towards the exhibition itself and a further £15 million into a legacy fund to attract further cultural investment in the Northern Powerhouse.
Newcastle-Gateshead faced strong competition from a number of other bidding towns and cities, including the three other shortlisted bidders: Blackpool, Bradford and Sheffield.
The Tyneside bid was declared the winner on the recommendation of the Great Exhibition Board chaired by Sir Gary Verity.
The Great Exhibition of the North will take place in Summer 2018 and will celebrate the creativity of Northern England, help boost investment and tourism in the region and leave a lasting cultural legacy.
Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said:
“The Great Exhibition of the North is fantastic news for Newcastle-Gateshead. It will showcase the dynamic arts, cultural and design scenes in the city and across the whole of the North.
“It’s so important that, regardless of where you’re from in the country, everyone is able to enjoy and access great culture. This cultural investment will bring enormous benefits to the region, including regeneration, increased tourism and cultural engagement. Congratulations to Newcastle-Gateshead on their successful bid – I’m excited to see what summer 2018 will bring.”
Plans for the event include three walking circuits around Tyneside focusing on arts, design and innovation; a major exhibition hub at Great North Museum: Hancock; an innovative programme of new artistic and creative commissions; an entertaining and informative summer camp at Exhibition Park for families and an extensive learning programme.
Sir Gary Verity said:
“Newcastle-Gateshead put forward an exciting and innovative bid to host the Great Exhibition of the North. Their ambitious plans will showcase fantastic venues across the city and highlight their unique heritage, culture and design. People from across the country can expect an amazing show in summer 2018.
I’d like to thank the eight other towns and cities for their fantastic bids and I’m looking forward to working with them to help ensure that the Exhibition has the widest possible reach across the whole of the North.”
Carol Bell, Culture and Major Events Director at destination marketing agency NewcastleGateshead Initiative, which led the development of NewcastleGateshead’s bid, said:
“We are delighted to have secured the Great Exhibition of the North in 2018; it’s a fantastic achievement and a testament to the creative and innovative bid we developed with the support of many venues, organisations, partners and stakeholders here in the North East. Key bid partners include Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, BALTIC, Sage Gateshead and the North East Culture Partnership.
“We now look forward to extending this partnership approach right across the North of England to shine a spotlight on our collective cultural assets and strengths. Together we will develop and stage an event that the whole of the North can be proud of and which we hope will have far-reaching benefits for culture, communities, tourism and businesses – in 2018 and beyond.”