Halifax up against Harrogate, Bradford, Sheffield and more to host Great Exhibition of the North

View of Halifax from Beacon Hill
View of Halifax from Beacon Hill

Could Halifax beat stiff competition to host the two-month, multi-million pound Great Exhibition of the North?

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey announced today that Bradford, Halifax, Harrogate, Blackpool, Scunthorpe, Sheffield, St Helens, Whitehaven, and Newcastle and Gateshead have all submitted bids for the two month exhibition.

Last month, we brought you the news that Halifax planned to submit a bid, with the newly-transformed Piece Hall, Dean Clough Mills, Eureka, Square Chapel, Orangebox the Victoria Theatre and Halifax Minster all likely to feature in the event.

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.

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.

He 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. 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