Great North Run links up with 2018 Great Exhibition of the North

Great North Run founder Brendan Foster, centre, and Culture Secretary Karen Bradley, fifth from left, with other leading members of other organisations involved in the new link between the race and next year's Great Exhibition of the North.
Great North Run founder Brendan Foster, centre, and Culture Secretary Karen Bradley, fifth from left, with other leading members of other organisations involved in the new link between the race and next year's Great Exhibition of the North.

The Great North Run will form part of the finale of next year's Great Exhibition of the North after the launch of a new partnership between the two events.

The annual race between Newcastle and South Shields will be the centrepiece of the exhibition’s final weekend in September 2018 with the exhibition as a whole already touted as the "biggest event in England next year".

The exhibition will highlight the north’s strengths in key areas such digital, health innovation, energy and innovation when it opens in June next year.

It is expected to attract an additional 1.2 million visitors to Newcastle and Gateshead and bring a £184 million spending boost to the North East.

Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, who announced the partnership on Thursday, said: “The Great North Run is a British sporting institution that has raised the profile of Tyneside across the world.

"It is a fantastic example of how events like these can change a city’s culture and I am thrilled it is partnering with the Great Exhibition of the North.

“The race will be the perfect finale to the three-month exhibition, which will celebrate the very best of art, design and innovation across the whole of the North of England and help boost investment and tourism in the region to leave a lasting legacy.”

Brendan Foster, founder and chairman of the Great North Run, said: “2018 will be another milestone year for the Simplyhealth Great North Run as the centrepiece to the Great Exhibition of the North’s final weekend.

“The region is at the very heart of mass-participation running and this partnership should help to inspire even more people to get active and take part in running, the most accessible and inclusive sport of all.”

The exhibition will take place at a number of venues such as the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and the nearby Sage music and arts centre, in Gateshead, as well as locations across the River Tyne in Newcastle.

Among the exhibits on show will be the space suit worn by Sheffield astronaut Helen Sharman when she visited the Mir Space Station in 1991 as well as the last piano The Beatles' John Lennon ever played before his death in 1980.

The Government is supporting the exhibition with £5m of funding and for further information about the even tvisit www.getnorth2018.com