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Newcastle and Gateshead to host £5m Great Exhibition of the North

Music venue Sage Gateshead. The town will jointly host the Great Exhibition of the North in 2018. Photo: Wojtek Gurak
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Newcastle and Gateshead have been selected to host the Great Exhibition of the North in 2018, as part of government plans to invest in northern infrastructure.

The arts and culture festival will involve a raft of new commissions by theatre companies and other arts organisations, as well as new exhibitions and heritage displays celebrating northern history.

As part of the Great Exhibition, three walking circuits will be created around the whole Tyneside area focusing on arts, design and innovation.

Newcastle and its neighbouring town were the winning bidders from a shortlist that included Sheffield, Bradford and Blackpool.

The government will give £5 million towards the project, as well as an extra £15 million ‘legacy fund’ to attract more cultural investment in the wider north.

Culture secretary Karen Bradley said the Great Exhibition would “showcase the dynamic arts, cultural and design scenes in [Newcastle and Gateshead] and across the whole of the north.”

She added: “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.”

The “exciting and innovative” Tyneside bid was decided on by the Great Exhibition board, chaired by businessman Gary Verity.

Congratulating Newcastle and Gateshead, Verity said: “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.”

The Great Exhibition of the North will take place in the summer of 2018. More details of the programme are expected to be announced next year.

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