Nine bids have been received from Northern towns and cities to host the Great Exhibition of the North in 2018, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey announced today.
Bradford, Halifax, Harrogate, Blackpool, Scunthorpe, Sheffield, St Helens, Whitehaven, and Newcastle and Gateshead have all submitted bids for the two month exhibition.
The Government is contributing £5 million towards the exhibition itself and a further £15 million to a legacy fund to attract further cultural investment in the Northern Powerhouse.
The exhibition will showcase the great creative, cultural and design sectors across the North, and boost investment and tourism in the region.
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said: “This exhibition is a unique chance to showcase the very best of Northern art, culture and design.
“Investment in arts and culture brings enormous benefits to local economies and I am delighted so many towns and areas from across the North want to be part of this exciting exhibition.”
Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, has been appointed by the Chancellor George Osborne to chair the Great Exhibition Board that will report to Ministers on the bids and support the successful bidder.
Sir Gary said: “It is fantastic to get nine bids in to host the exhibition, with a terrific mix of towns and cities bidding from both sides of the Pennines. I’m looking forward to reviewing them over the coming months with the board and reaching a decision on which one will have the prestige of hosting the Great Exhibition of the North.”
All the bids will assessed by the Great Exhibition board before a final selection is made by Ministers. The venue for the Great Exhibition of the North will be announced in the autumn.
The Great Exhibition board are:
Sir Gary Verity (Chair), Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire
Dr Ruth McKernan CBE, Chief Executive of Innovate UK
Dianne Willcocks CBE, Emeritus Professor and former Vice Chancellor at York St John University
Max Steinberg CBE FRSA, Chief Executive of Liverpool Vision
Christopher Rodrigues CBE, Chair of the British Council
Conrad Bird CBE, GREAT campaign director
Martin Temple CBE, former Chair of the Design Council and Chair of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Board
Martyn Henderson, Department for Culture Media and Sport