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NewcastleGateshead bids to host Great Exhibition of the North in 2018

30th June 2016

Categories: Latest News

Today, NewcastleGateshead has submitted an innovative and ambitious bid to host Great Exhibition of the North in 2018.

Led by a consortium of partners including NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, North East Cultural Partnership, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Sage Gateshead, the bid puts the North’s inventive, innovative and trail blazing spirit at the forefront.

Carol Bell, culture and major events director at destination management and marketing agency NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “We believe we are the perfect destination to host Great Exhibition of the North.

“Not only do we have a proven track record in hosting major festivals and events, we also have an inspiring story to tell about our region; one that celebrates the great art, culture, design and innovation that defines the North of England today.

“We’ve worked in collaboration with a wide range of regional partners to develop our bid, and if successful, we would build on this partnership model to ensure we engage and enthuse the whole of the North.”

In March 2016, Government announced a competition for towns and cities to host the Great Exhibition of the North in 2018. The two-month exhibition – planned to take place in the summer of 2018 – will celebrate the best of art, culture and design across the North of England.

NewcastleGateshead’s bid to host Great Exhibition of the North has won support from numerous business, science and cultural leaders including: Erica Whyman, Deputy Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company; Professor Sir John Byrne, Professor of Clinical Genetics at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Dr Tom Shakespeare, Senior Lecturer at Norwich Medical School.

Iain Watson, director of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums said: “Our approach is to use the city and the destination as our ‘venue’ for Great Exhibition of the North. It’s about creating a living, breathing exhibition that takes people on a journey through NewcastleGateshead, which celebrates the ideas, products and exports of the North – both past, present as well as looking to the future.”

John Mowbray from the North East Cultural Partnership said: “One of the real strengths of NewcastleGateshead’s bid is the commitment to work in partnership with the arts and cultural sector across the wider North. It will be a great example of the Northern Powerhouse in action and an exciting creative collaboration.”

Sarah Munro, director of BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art said: “We know from the huge success of Turner Prize 2011 that there is a real passion in the North for arts and culture. 150,000 people visited BALTIC during Turner Prize 2011, many of them from across the UK and internationally. We’re extremely proud to be part of NewcastleGateshead’s bid to host Great Exhibition of the North and look forward to developing a programme that will attract audiences from far and wide.”

Abigail Pogson, Managing Director of Sage Gateshead said: “We are really thrilled to be part of the Great Exhibition of the North bid along with partners across the region. Music is central to the North’s cultural life and Sage Gateshead has always celebrated excellence, innovation and heritage through its performance and education programmes. The Great Exhibition of the North is a great way for us to continue this both for local people and for visitors to the region.”

Newcastle City Council Cabinet Member for Culture and Communities, Kim McGuinness, said: “I'm extremely proud to support our bid to bring this major attraction to the North East bringing prestige to our cultural portfolio and providing a massive boost to the region’s economy.
 
“We have proven time and time again that our city is a fantastic host for big, national events and I’m sure that our businesses and communities will get right behind the idea as we celebrate all that is good about art, culture and innovation.”

Gateshead Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure, Councillor John McElroy said: “There are substantial benefits to hosting and staging large scale events, however this unique event also gives a fantastic opportunity to showcase the wealth of art, culture, design and innovation that already exists here in the North East, and I am sure it will be enjoyed by both local people and visitors from afar.”

With Government contributing £5m towards the exhibition with a further £15m available in the form of a legacy fund to attract wider cultural investment in the Northern Powerhouse, it’s hoped Great Exhibition of the North will boost the economy in the region.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said: “The Great Exhibition of the North will promote the Northern Powerhouse to the world and showcase the best of the region’s art, culture and design.

“As well as acting as a real boost to local tourism, this event will  provide an important cultural legacy to the North.

“Newcastle and Gateshead boast a strong creative scene with wonderful cultural institutions and I am sure they will submit a strong bid.”

Sir Gary Verity, chairman of the Great Exhibition of the North board, said: "The Great Exhibition of the North will showcase the best of our art, design and culture to the world in 2018 and will help bring the whole region together.

"I look forward to seeing the high quality bids from towns and cities across the North."

Carol Bell continued: “We know from previous experience that festivals and events contribute millions of pounds to our regional economy. Great Exhibition of the North will have national and international appeal and we expect visitors to travel from right across the UK and beyond.

“In addition the Exhibition will help to showcase our booming knowledge economy and creative sectors, encouraging further investment and interest from businesses keen to ride on its success.

“NewcastleGateshead’s bid to host Great Exhibition of the North puts local artists and performers, cultural organisations and creative businesses at the forefront. It promotes our innovative and entrepreneurial activity as well as highlighting research conducted by universities in the region.

“Not only will it instill pride in our city and region, it will also change outdated stereotypes of the North and reflect the true character of the place - one that is creative, cultural, innovative and truly pioneering.”

-ENDS-

For more information or interview requests, please contact Kathie Wilcox, Marketing & Communications Director at NewcastleGateshead Initiative on kathie.wilcox@ngi.org.uk / 0191 440 5742

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