National Lottery funding for Great Exhibition of the North as more highlights are revealed

The Great North Museum: Hancock Credit: Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

A £813,100 grant has been awarded by HLF to Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (TWAM), one of the main partners working with NewcastleGateshead Initiative to bring the dynamic story of the North of England to life in what is set to be one of next year’s biggest cultural events.

The National Lottery funding will establish the Great North Museum: Hancock, as one of two key starting points for visitors following the exhibition’s three walking routes which will explore the North’s Art and Culture, Design and Innovation.

A free major exhibition, full of reinvigorated displays and exciting international and national loans, will explore the fascinating histories, inspiring legacies and amazing innovations which have moulded the places and people in the North, while continuing to shape our futures.

Throughout the summer, performances, events and challenges will get people of all ages involved in the history and future of everything from engineering to writing. Meanwhile, visitors will have the chance to work with technological, historical and artistic experts to create an installation in the museum focusing on Northern pioneers.

The project will also pave the way for the return of Stephenson’s Rocket to Newcastle – for the first time in 150 years. Discovery Museum will host the historic locomotive, on loan from the Science Museum Group, and today’s funding will prepare its temporary home and create an exciting programme of Rocket themed activities and tours.

More highlights of the Great Exhibition of the North, many of them also National Lottery funded, are set to be announced over the coming months. Visit the Great Exhibition of the North website to keep up to date.

John Glen, Minister for Art, Heritage and Tourism, said: “The Great Exhibition of the North will be a special event that celebrates the very best of Northern culture, design and innovation.

“This National Lottery grant is fantastic news for Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and will help it tell the story of the North’s past, present and future in imaginative and exciting ways.”

Iain Watson, Director of TWAM, said: “Today’s grant award is excellent news for TWAM and a huge endorsement of our ambition for next year’s Great Exhibition of the North. Thanks to the National Lottery, we are able to transform the Great North Museum: Hancock and bring Stephenson’s Rocket to Discovery Museum where it will sit beside Parsons’ Turbinia, another icon of Northern innovation.

“We know that the Great Exhibition of the North is the must-see attraction in England for 2018 and I’m excited to welcome visitors to our museums and to NewcastleGateshead, where they can be sure to experience everything that’s great about the North.”

Sir Gary Verity, Great Exhibition of the North, Chair, said: “It’s fantastic news that HLF has awarded such a significant grant to Great Exhibition of the North, helping us realise our ambitious plans for the Hub Exhibition at the Great North Museum. We’re delighted to have already announced significant programme pieces, including the return of Stephenson’s Rocket to Tyneside at Discovery Museum, the inclusion of Helen Sharman’s Spacesuit and John Lennon’s Record Plant Piano, with more exciting highlights being revealed in the coming weeks.”

Ivor Crowther, Head of HLF North East, said: “The history of the North of England is fascinating, proud and unique. It also continues to shape the people and places we love today and inspires ideas for our future.

“The Great Exhibition of the North is an unrivalled opportunity to shine the spotlight on the North of England’s incredible heritage and we’re delighted that money raised by National Lottery players is going to have such a big impact for millions of visitors to the event next year.”

Notes to Editors

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (TWAM) is a major regional museum, art gallery and archives service. We manage a collection of nine museums and galleries across Tyneside and the Archives for Tyne and Wear.

TWAM holds collections of international importance in archives, art, science and technology, archaeology, military and social history, fashion and natural sciences.

TWAM is supported by the five local authorities of the area and Newcastle University. TWAM is a Major Partner Museum funded by Arts Council England and has Core Funded Museum status.

TWAM is funded by Arts Council to act as a Bridge organisation. The only museum service to take on a Bridge role, TWAM is one of 10 Bridge organisations across the UK using their experience and expertise to connect children and young people with art and culture.

TWAM also delivers the Museum Development programme for the North East. The programme is a comprehensive, effective and collaborative response to the needs of museums in the North East and the communities they serve. As a result TWAM supports a total of 55 museums operating in the North East.

TWAM has recently been awarded continued funding by Arts Council England for 2018-2022. TWAM will become a National Portfolio Organisation and will also continue to deliver the regional Bridge and Museum Development programmes.

Great Exhibition of the North 2018

The Great Exhibition of the North will showcase the incredible creative, cultural and design sectors across the whole of the North. It was first announced by Government in April 2016 and a competition was launched to secure £5million of government funding for a two-month exhibition.

In October 2016, NewcastleGateshead was selected to host the Great Exhibition of The North; NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) led the bid and is the lead delivery partner for the Exhibition, working closely with colleagues at Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, BALTIC, Sage Gateshead, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and a project board chaired by Sir Gary Verity.

The NewcastleGateshead programme for the Great Exhibition of the North 2018 will span 10 weeks, opening over the weekend of the 22 June 2018. It will celebrate innovation and creativity across Northern England and will help boost investment and tourism, while leaving a lasting cultural and economic legacy.

Ambitious plans will use the whole destination as the stage, with a newly commissioned creative programme taking place in a range of venues and outdoor spaces across NewcastleGateshead.

Three walking routes will be created, focusing on arts, design and innovation that will inspire and be inspired by a major exhibition hub at the Great North Museum: Hancock (curated by partners at Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums); major new work commissioned by BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Sage Gateshead.

Other important elements of The Great Exhibition of the North 2018 include inspiring opening and closing events, an entertaining and informative summer camp at Exhibition Park for families (part of an extensive learning and engagement programme) and a Business Expo.

The Great Exhibition of the North is supported by Premier Partners, Virgin Trains.

NewcastleGateshead Initiative is a destination management and marketing agency; a public-private partnership supported by Gateshead and Newcastle City Councils, working with around 170 private sector partner organisations. Its mission is to inspire people to visit, and to live, learn work and invest in NewcastleGateshead and the wider region.

United by seven bridges across a spectacular riverscape, Newcastle (a city on the north bank of the River Tyne) and Gateshead (a town on the south bank) form a single, diverse and extremely vibrant visitor destination. World-class culture, vibrant nightlife, award-winning dining, inspiring heritage, fantastic shopping and acclaimed architecture are combined here like nowhere else, by the famous Geordie spirit which is symbolised by Antony Gormley’s iconic Angel of the North as it welcomes travellers to the area.

Further information

For more information and to register for updates visit the Great Exhibition of the North's website.

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