[T]owns and cities across Northern England will be able to bid for a share of a new £15 million fund to help build a lasting regional legacy from the Great Exhibition of the North, Culture Secretary Karen Bradley announced today.
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.
The Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund will make grants of up to £4 million available to support major 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.
The Great Exhibition of the North will be held in Newcastle and Gateshead next summer. Set to be the biggest event in 2018, the £5 million government-funded exhibition will showcase the best of Northern art, design and innovation.
The immersive free exhibition will engage communities and businesses from across the region, and promote the bustling and thriving area to the world.
Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said: “This £15 million 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.
“We want as many people as possible to benefit from the Great Exhibition of the North, and this fund will boost the Northern Powerhouse and help build a lasting legacy across the whole region.”
Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry said: “The North is a cultural powerhouse, as well as an economic one, and this £15 million fund will give a boost to the region’s vibrant culture and tech sectors.
“We’ve already invested over £3.4 billion 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.”
The first round of bids will be coordinated by Local Enterprise Partnerships 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.
The successful projects will be announced in March 2018. A further round of funding may follow if all the available funds have not been committed.
Successful bids will encourage sustainable cultural and creative regeneration in the North of England and benefit areas that have historically had low levels of cultural and creative investment.