England’s Great Exhibition of the North receives £15m fund Europe

The Government has created the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund, a £15m grant aimed at ensuring next year’s Great Exhibition of the North has lasting benefits.

The Great Exhibition of the North 2018 takes place in Newcastle and Gateshead from 22 June to September.

Grants of up to £4m will be available to support culture and tech capital projects. The fund will build on the impact of next year’s exhibition and help pave the way for future investment in the Northern Powerhouse.

Projects could include opening a new tech start-up centre or renovating live music venues and should increase opportunities for people to experience, benefit and contribute to culture and creativity.

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said: “This £15m fund is a fantastic chance for towns and cities to develop inspirational projects that could have a transformative local effect, particularly in communities that have seen less cultural or creative investment in the past.”

She added: “This fund will boost the Northern Powerhouse and help build a lasting legacy across the whole region.”

Cultural powerhouse

Towns and cities of the North should submit their bids by November 30. The first round of bids will be coordinated by Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) in Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Humber, Lancashire, Leeds City Region, Liverpool City Region, North East, Sheffield City Region, Tees Valley, York and North Yorkshire and East Riding.

Each LEP will assess the local bids and put forward one to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Successful projects will be announced in March 2018. A further round of funding may follow if all the available funds have not been granted.

Commeting on the news, Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry said: “The North is a cultural powerhouse, as well as an economic one, and this £15m fund will give a boost to the region’s vibrant culture and tech sectors.

“We’ve already invested over £3.4bn for projects to boost local economies in the Northern Powerhouse and this latest funding will help make sure the Great Exhibition of the North creates a legacy for years to come.”

Tom Hall

Editor, Exhibition World