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NewcastleGateshead shortlisted for Great Exhibition of the North

Posted on Friday 29 July 2016

NewcastleGateshead is still in the running to host the Great Exhibition of the North in 2018 after being named as one of four shortlisted destinations.

Announced by Department for Culture Media and Sport, NewcastleGateshead joins Bradford, Blackpool and Sheffield in the next stage of judging which will see one destination named official host of the event.

Gateshead Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure, Councillor John McElroy said: “It is fantastic news for the region that NewcastleGateshead’s bid to host the Great Exhibition of the North has been shortlisted.

“This once-in-a-generation event gives a unique opportunity to showcase the wealth of art, culture, design and innovation that already exists and the region is renowned for.

“We look forward to moving into the next phase of the process and feel sure that we have a competitive and engaging bid for the judging panel.”

The shortlisted destinations will each host a panel visit within the next few weeks and have also been invited to present to the Department for Culture Media and Sport Board on 9 September, before the overall winner is announced in the autumn. A total of nine destinations initially submitted bids; Harrogate, Halifax, Scunthorpe, St Helens and Whitehaven were unsuccessful in reaching the shortlisting stage.

Carol Bell, Culture and Major Events Director at destination management and marketing agency NewcastleGateshead Initiative, which led the development of NewcastleGateshead’s bid, said: “It’s fantastic news that we’ve made the Government’s shortlist to host the Great Exhibition of the North in 2018.

“Our proposal positioned the city itself as the stage, a unique setting for a series of trails uncovering the story of innovation, art and design in Northern England.

“I’d like to thank all the partners that have supported our bid to date. It’s a great achievement to make the shortlist and we look forward to the next round of judging.”

Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, said: “The Great Exhibition of the North is a unique opportunity to celebrate the creativity of Northern England and I am thrilled we received so many innovative bids.

“British arts and culture are among the finest in the world. I am determined we democratise the arts and celebrate the best in every part of our nation. What's more, cultural investment can bring enormous benefits for communities - it drives regeneration, promotes tourism and increases life chances.

“The shortlisted bids show just what's on offer and show we have brilliant options for hosting the Great Exhibition of the North. Whichever is successful, this exhibition will leave an important legacy to benefit the whole country.”