Get North engages millions in the North East

The 80 day events encompassing culture, innovate technology, live performances and amazing experiences comes to an end of 9th September.

The Great Exhibition of the North has engaged millions of people across Newcastle and Gateshead, the wider North and beyond.  As more than four million visitors visited the North East over the summer, it was  described as the number one place in the world to visit in 2018 by Rough Guides.

The research found that during the events,  32% cited the Exhibition as the primary reason for their visit, and 75% engaged with the Exhibition’s content whilst they were there.

Many of the Great Exhibition venues saw record footfall, with the four key venues (Great North Museum, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Sage Gateshead and Discovery Museum) welcoming significantly more visitors (an average of +55%) over the summer period (vs summer 2017).

One of the biggest attractions was Robert Stephenson’s Rocket at the Discovery Museum.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism Michael Ellis, said:The Great Exhibition of the North has been supported by a dedicated team of hard-working volunteers who have helped make it such a success. It has been a true celebration of the North’s past, present and future and I know it will leave a lasting legacy for the community and the whole Northern Powerhouse.”

There has also been digital attraction with the Great Exhibition of the North, as the social media and digital content had a reach of over 19.7 million. There were over 2,200 items of print, online and broadcast media coverage about Great Exhibition of the North and BBC editorial content alone was seen and heard by an audience of more than 15 million right across the UK.

The free events, performances, installations and activities staged over the entirety of the Exhibition were sourced from every county in the North of England.

Sir Gary Verity DL, Chair of the Great Exhibition of the North, said: “I’m hugely proud to have been involved in such a “great” exhibition shining a spotlight on all the fantastic creativity and innovation in the North, past, present and future. The success of the Exhibition is down to every single contributor, large and small, from world class venues, to hidden gems in NewcastleGateshead and across the wider North.” 

Great Exhibition of the North provided a range of volunteering opportunities for individuals, groups and businesses. A total of 1,175 people registered to volunteer, aged between 16 and 78. The volunteer team have contributed over 20,836 hours of support so far, carrying out duties such as welcoming visitors, leading school groups and providing event support.

Cllr Kim McGuinness, cabinet member for culture, sport and public health at Newcastle City Council, said: “As well as showcasing art, design and innovation from right across the North of England, it is particularly pleasing that the Great Exhibition has inspired pride among North East residents, has been supported by so many local volunteers and has been successful in getting so many children and their families involved in a huge variety of activities.”

The residents of NewcastleGateshead were great ambassadors for the Exhibition with 90% saying they were proud to be the hosts.

To mark the closing weekend of Great Exhibition of the North there will be a special performance called ‘Great North Star’ to celebrate and honor the women of the North of England, taking inspiration from the centenary year of the first women in Britain getting the right to vote. The emotionally compelling outdoor performance will celebrate the spirit of the North of England, as exemplified by the world’s largest half marathon on 9 September, the Great North Run.

Viewers can watch the 50-minute Great North Star performance as it happens on BBC online from 21:00 on Friday 7 September. Alternatively, the 30-minute programme will air on BBC One on Saturday 8 September from 15:15 – 15:45, following the Great North CityGames coverage.

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