Judging panel visiting Sheffield to see £10m Great Exhibition of the North bid

Plans for the Great Exhibition in the North in Sheffield.
Plans for the Great Exhibition in the North in Sheffield.
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Sheffield’s bid to stage the £10m Great Exhibition of the North will be presented to a judging panel next week.

The city is among four nationwide, alongside Bradford, Blackpool and Newcastle-Gateshead, to make the shortlist to host the event in the summer of 2018.

Judges will assess the bids and make a final decision. Sheffield’s bid rests on its claim to be the ‘Gateway to the North’, promising a showcase of art, culture, creative industry, innovation and design. 

Prof Vanessa Toulmin, who is helping to lead the bid as part of the Sheffield Culture Consortium, said: “We are proud that Sheffield City Region has been shortlisted in our Year of Making and look forward to welcoming the judges to the city.

“Sheffield will demonstrate how we are the gateway to the North and we will work across cities and towns to help shape the future in art, design, culture and future technology. We’re in it to win it.”

The panel’s members include Conrad Bird CBE, director of the GREAT Britain campaign, the Government’s campaign to generate jobs and growth from tourism, trade and education, and Sir Gary Verity, who is overseeing the project.

Nine towns and cities submitted bids. Following the judges’ visits, a recommendation to ministers will be made in the autumn.

Key venues would include the Millennium Gallery and Winter Gardens, Tudor Square, the Site Gallery and the Cathedral.

The Government will give the winning town or city £5m towards the event.

Sheffield is on track to raise a further £5m in commercial sponsorship.

A further £15m will be put into a legacy fund to attract further cultural investment in the north.