The Great North Run - the world’s largest half marathon - will form part of the finale of next year’s Great Exhibition of the North, Culture Secretary Karen Bradley announced on Thursday.
The mass-participation race, which attracts 57,000 runners a year, will be the centrepiece of the Exhibition’s final weekend in September 2018.
The Great Exhibition of the North is set to be the biggest event in England next year.
The Exhibition, supported by £5 million of Government funding, will showcase the best of art, culture, design and innovation across the Northern Powerhouse.
Newcastle and Gateshead’s world-class venues and unique outdoor spaces are hosting the Exhibition, which will feature a summer of amazing exhibits, inspired technology, and cutting edge culture.
The space suit worn by astronaut Helen Sharman when she visited the Mir Space Station will be on display in the North of England for the first time. It will be exhibited at the Great North Museum alongside a range of star items, including the last piano John Lennon ever played.
Sharman, from Sheffield, was the first British astronaut and the first woman to visit the Mir Space Station in 1991. The 22lb suit she wore after being selected from over 13,000 applicants to represent the British Juno Mission has never been displayed in the North before. It has been loaned by the Science Museum and will be one of the star exhibits at the Great North Museum next year.
Also on display will be John Lennon’s Record Plant Piano that featured on Double Fantasy, the last album he released before his death in 1980.
The piano, which has also been used by the likes of Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, and Elton John, has been loaned by The Beatles Story visitor attraction in Liverpool.
Visitors will be able to discover the story of the North of England through three walking routes themed around art, design and innovation, beginning at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Sage Gateshead or Great North Museum: Hancock.
- The BALTIC will present the best in Northern contemporary art including a new solo show from Turner Prize nominee Michael Dean. The Newcastle-born artist is renowned for creating sculpture out of words, using everyday materials such as concrete, steel, soil and sand.
- The Sage Gateshead will commission an animated, musical adventure called “Seven Bridges”, developed by composer Ed Carter and children’s television script-writer Katie Simmons. Set along the River Tyne to Dunston Staiths, the film will be presented live with music from the Royal Northern Sinfonia and introduce children to the architectural and engineering landmarks of the region.
The Exhibition will highlight the North’s strengths in key sectors, including digital, health innovation and energy, as well as profiling great Northern innovations such as Graphene, which was discovered by scientists working at the University of Manchester in 2004.
It is expected to attract an additional 1.2 million visitors to Newcastle and Gateshead and bring a £184 million boost to the North East, showing how cultural investment can benefit and inspire entire communities.