TWAM awarded National Lottery funding for Great Exhibition of the North

27 September 2017

"A huge endorsement of our ambition for next year’s Great Exhibition of the North..."

Image: Iain Watson, Director of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

An £813,100 grant has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (TWAM), one of the main partners working with NewcastleGateshead Initiative to bring the dynamic story of the North of England to life in what is set to be one of next year’s biggest cultural events.

The National Lottery funding will establish the Great North Museum: Hancock as one of two key starting points for visitors following the Exhibition’s three walking routes which will explore the North’s Art and Culture, Design and Innovation.

A free major exhibition, full of reinvigorated displays and exciting international and national loans, will explore the fascinating histories, inspiring legacies and amazing innovations which have moulded the places and people in the North, while continuing to shape our futures.

Throughout the summer, performances, events and challenges will get people of all ages involved in the history and future of everything from engineering to writing. Meanwhile, visitors will have the chance to work with technological, historical and artistic experts to create an installation in the museum focusing on Northern pioneers.

The project will also pave the way for the return of Stephenson’s Rocket to Newcastle – for the first time in 150 years. Discovery Museum will host the historic locomotive, on loan from the Science Museum Group, and today’s funding will prepare its temporary home and create an exciting programme of Rocket themed activities and tours.

More highlights of the Great Exhibition of the North, many of them also National Lottery funded, are set to be announced over the coming months. Visit the Great Exhibition of the North website to keep up to date.

Iain Watson, Director of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, said:

“Today’s grant award is excellent news for TWAM and a huge endorsement of our ambition for next year’s Great Exhibition of the North. Thanks to the National Lottery, we are able to transform the Great North Museum: Hancock and bring Stephenson’s Rocket to Discovery Museum where it will sit beside Parsons’ Turbinia, another icon of Northern innovation.

“We know that the Great Exhibition of the North is the must-see attraction in England for 2018 and I’m excited to welcome visitors to our museums and to NewcastleGateshead, where they can be sure to experience everything that’s great about the North.” 

Ivor Crowther, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund North East, said:

“The history of the North of England is fascinating, proud and unique. It also continues to shape the people and places we love today and inspires ideas for our future.

“The Great Exhibition of the North is an unrivalled opportunity to shine the spotlight on the North of England’s incredible heritage and we’re delighted that money raised by National Lottery players is going to have such a big impact for millions of visitors to the event next year.” 

Media enquiries

Please contact Jonathan Loach - Jonathan.Loach@twmuseums.org.uk 0191 277 2168 or Sheryl McGregor - Sheryl.McGregor@twmuseums.org.uk 0191 277 2311