Great Exhibition of the North

Great Exhibition of the North - success?

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Daniel Holland

An independent councillor has called for answers on whether or not the Great Exhibition of the North was a success.

Councillor Marc Donnelly asked whether the "pound for pound expenditure, visitor numbers and financial benefits" of the cultural festival had met expectations.

Questions have been raised in recent weeks over how visitor numbers for the 80-day exhibition were calculated, after it emerged that some people surveyed were spoken to when already inside or directly outside key venues.

The exhibition, which ran between June and September, included a variety of events celebrating the achievements of the north of England at venues such as the Sage and the Great North Museum: Hancock.

In response to Councillor Donnelly's question, the council confirmed that a full evaluation of the exhibition's impact will be published in December.

Will the Great Exhibition of the North have a lasting impact?

Sharuna Sagar

BBC Look North

There were great expectations for the Great Exhibition of the North.

Billed as the biggest event in England this year, Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry claimed it will be “talked about for decades”.

The idea was part of his Northern Powerhouse initiative to apparently create a lasting legacy in the region and inspire innovators and engineers of the future.

But as the 80-day run comes to a close, there are question marks over what lasting impact this eclectic festival will have.

Ten thousand contributors from all over the north provided the content in 30 venues and across more than 80 locations in Newcastle and Gateshead.

As you would expect, organisers are hailing the festival a great success, saying four million visitors came to Tyneside this summer, with a third of those coming primarily for the event.

While those are impressive statistics, others felt the event lacked cohesion and they didn’t really understand what it was about.

Great Exhibition of the North
Getty Images

Great Exhibition of the North officially ends

Colin Briggs

Look North

The Great Exhibition of the North has come to an end after almost three months of exhibitions and events celebrating technology, design, art and innovation.

Thousands of people attended a closing ceremony, Great North Star, on Friday night, which was preceded by a visit from Prince William.

You can watch Great North Star below.

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Great Exhibition of the North: Great North Star

Watch Great North Star

You can watch the full performance of Great North Star here.

This content only works in the UK.

Great Exhibition of the North: Great North Star

Great North Star performance honours women

Great Exhibition of the North: Great North Star
A performance celebrating the centenary year of the first women in Britain getting the right to vote marks the closing weekend of the Great Exhibition of the North.

Has the Great Exhibition registered outside Tyneside?

Ian Youngs

Entertainment and Arts Reporter, BBC News

The name of The Great Exhibition of the North deliberately harked back to the grand celebrations of art and industry that drew millions of people from all corners of the country in the 19th and 20th Centuries (The North East Coast Exhibition of 1929 pictured below).

This one was meant to appeal to a sense of northern pride, and organisers have said 1.3 million people cited it as their main reason for visiting the region this summer. If that’s true, then great.

But from the outside, it hasn’t felt like an unmissable extravaganza to rank among its predecessors. Beyond Newcastle and Gateshead, the awareness and the buzz about The Great Exhibition of the North have been negligible.

When then Chancellor George Osborne announced a Great Exhibition of the North as part of his Northern Powerhouse package in the 2015 Autumn Statement, it came out of the blue.

It felt like it had been dreamed it up as one extra token measure to throw into the package. And at the end of the day, like the Northern Powerhouse, the Great Exhibition seems to have fizzled out.

Lots of people have had a good time, some artists have forged new ideas and collaborations, and at the end of the day having a £5m festival is better than not having one.

Will there be another one? Maybe in a century or two.

The North East Coast Exhibition ran from May to October 1929
TYNE AND WEAR ARCHIVES

Smiling faces leave performance

Zena Francis

BBC North East

And that’s a wrap! The Great North Star has ended to rapturous applause from the audience only dulled by the effect of the weather on their fingers.

Still dancing in their seats young and old have clearly enjoyed the show.

Although not as packed as first advertised the smiling faces leaving the venue are a sure sign of some positive feedback for the organisers of the performance.

The show championed the North and the women that helped put it on the map and I certainly leave the event feeling even more proud of where I live.