Sheffield astronaut's space suit to feature in Great Exhibition of the North

Helen Sharman.
Helen Sharman.

The space suit of Britain's first astronaut - Sheffield woman Helen Sharman - will form part of the Great Exhibition of the North next year.

Next year's summer-long series of cultural and science events is to be staged in Newcastle and aims to boost creativity across the north.

Ms Sharman, who was born in Grenoside and became the first woman to visit the Mir Space Station in 1991, said: "I hope that the story of a young person from Sheffield becoming the first Briton in space will inspire young visitors to believe that they too can achieve something completely unexpected."

The exhibition, which received a £5 million grant from the government, starts on June 22 and ends with the Great North Run on 9 September.

Organisers expect it to attract an extra 1.2 million visitors to Newcastle and Gateshead and bring a £184m boost to the North East economy.

Sheffield was on the shortlist to host the event but lost out to the north east.