Blackpool fails in bid to land Great Exhibition

Newcastle-Gateshead has been chosen over Blackpool as the host of the Great Exhibition of the North.

Great ExhibitionThe Exhibition will showcase the great creative, cultural and design sectors in the city and across the whole of the North of England and is projected to facilitate a huge boost in tourism and investment in the host region.

The government is contributing £5m towards the exhibition itself and a further £15m into a legacy fund to attract further cultural investment in the Northern Powerhouse.

Blackpool made the final shortlist of four potential hosts, along with Bradford, Sheffield and the chosen Tyneside bid.

Chair of the Great Exhibition Board Sir Gary Verity said: "Newcastle-Gateshead put forward an exciting and innovative bid to host the Great Exhibition of the North. Their ambitious plans will showcase fantastic venues across the city and highlight their unique heritage, culture and design. People from across the country can expect an amazing show in summer 2018.

"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."

Ruth Connor, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire, said: "Our congratulations to Newcastle and Gateshead for securing the Great Exhibition of the North 2018.

"We were delighted to be one of the four short-listed finalists, with Blackpool, the only town pitched against three cities, supported by a pan-Lancashire bid that was strong on creativity, innovation and design centred around the amazing Winter Gardens. "There's no doubt that the resort is equipped and experienced in delivering large scale events, and has a visitor welcome that's hard to beat. The benefits of hosting the Great Exhibition will be far-reaching and we look forward to working with partners both in Newcastle and Gateshead and across the North, to show the quality and talent that we can all offer."