Gateshead Millennium Bridge

It’s been confirmed that The Great Exhibition of the North, a two-month exhibition celebrating the North of England, will take place in Newcastle and Gateshead in 2018.

The Exhibition, confirmed to take place in the summer of 2018, will showcase the creative, cultural and design sectors in the city and across the whole of the North of England.

Plans for the event include three walking circuits around Tyneside focusing on arts, design and innovation which will guide visitors to venues and attractions.

The Arts Circuit, Design Circuit and Innovation Circuit will start at an exhibition about northern pioneers and trailblazers at the Great North Museum: Hancock.

Groups will also be able to enjoy an innovative programme of new artistic and creative commissions; an informative summer camp at Exhibition Park for families; and an extensive learning programme throughout the region.

Other proposed ideas include an opening ceremony on 21st June on the Quayside, featuring a bridge of illuminated drones over the River Tyne, and an exhibition at the Baltic art gallery, which will invite five northern and five international artists to create work on the exhibition's themes.

Robert Stephenson's early steam locomotive The Rocket might also be brought from the Science Museum in London to Newcastle, where it was built.

Further details will be released closer to the event.

More about The Great Exhibition

The government is contributing £5 million towards the exhibition itself and a further £15 million into a legacy fund to attract further cultural investment in the Northern Powerhouse (a proposal to boost economic growth in the North).

Newcastle-Gateshead faced competition from a number of other bidding towns and cities, including the three other shortlisted bidders: Blackpool, Bradford and Sheffield.

Carol Bell, culture and major events director at Newcastle-Gateshead Initiative, said: “We will develop and stage an event that the whole of the north can be proud of and which we hope will have far-reaching benefits for culture, communities, tourism and businesses – in 2018 and beyond.”

Groups travel organisers can stay updated on The Great Exhibition by visiting