Location shortlist announced for Great Exhibition of the North


Blackpool, Bradford, Newcastle-Gateshead, and Sheffield have been shortlisted to host the Great Exhibition of the North in 2018, Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, announced today.

The exhibition, which will run for at least two months during 2018, will showcase the great creative, cultural and design sectors across the whole of the North, and aims to boost investment and tourism in the region.

The shortlist will now be assessed by the Great Exhibition board before a final selection is made by Ministers. The chosen venue will be announced in the autumn.

The Government is contributing £5 million towards the exhibition, and a further £15 million to a legacy fund to attract further cultural investment in the North.


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. 

The shortlisted bids show just what’s on offer and highlight that 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.

Sir Gary Verity, Chair of the Great Exhibition of the North Board, said: “The quality of all nine submissions was incredibly strong and I’d like to congratulate the four towns and cities who have made it through to the final shortlist. This is an incredible opportunity to really showcase the creativity and culture we have here in the North and I know whoever wins will thoroughly embrace that vision.”

Dinah Birch, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Impact at University of Liverpool, and Lead on Arts & Heritage for N8, added: “The N8 Research Partnership congratulates all of those who have contributed to the shortlisted proposals for this exciting opportunity for our region‘.