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Newcastle and Gateshead to host Great Exhibition of the North in 2018

Tyneside chosen to host £5m exhibition showcasing culture and design from across the north of England

Pictured: Sage Gateshead and the Millennium Bridge

Newcastle and Gateshead have been chosen to host the Great Exhibition of the North in 2018.

The exhibition will showcase 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 more cultural investment in the Northern Powerhouse.

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.”

The region saw off competition to host the event from three other shortlisted bidders, Blackpool, Bradford and Sheffield. 

Carol Bell, culture and major events director at destination marketing agency NewcastleGateshead Initiative, which led the development of the 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. 

“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.”

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; a programme of new artistic and creative commissions; a summer camp at Exhibition Park for families and an extensive learning programme. 

Key bid partners include Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, BALTIC, Sage Gateshead and the North East Culture Partnership.

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