Great Exhibition of the North: guidance for bidding venues

PART 2: Selection process

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PART 2: Selection process
The selection process is intended to ensure that the best possible bid from across the North of England is selected. The process should lead to the selection of a venue that has an ambitious but realistic proposal for the Great Exhibition of the North.
The process itself will bring wider benefits. Although only one venue will host the Great Exhibition of the North, the exhibition will showcase cultural and creative activity from the North of England, so there will be opportunities for organisations and practitioners across the region to contribute. The winning venue will be expected to form partnerships with organisations across the North of England, so that the exhibition is not limited to promoting the art, culture and design of one local area. While only one venue will host the exhibition, the bidder may wish to consider opportunities for other events and activities taking place in the region to act as Great Exhibition of the North satellite events.
The process of developing bids will foster the development of ideas and partnerships that can carry on irrespective of whether a bid is successful. We encourage you to think about what elements of your bid you may be able to take forward with the winning venue, should your bid be unsuccessful.
We will issue a press release on who has submitted bids, and on the results of the selection process. We expect bids to receive local publicity.
We realise there are costs associated with developing and submitting a bid. The selection process is intended to strike a balance between asking bidders to provide sufficient information to enable a robust evaluation, and being reasonable about what is expected. You may fund your bid using public, private or other sources.
How to bid
If you wish to bid to host the Great Exhibition of the North, you must submit the bid by 30 June 2016. DCMS will try to answer any questions you may have about the process.
You should submit your bid in electronic form to
Three workshops are being held across Northern England to provide guidance to bidders and interested partners. These will be held in Manchester on April 14, Doncaster on April 18 and Chester-le-street on April 26. For more information follow the links below or email

The bids will be assessed in line with the criteria set out below. The bids will be assessed by the Great Exhibition of the North board, which will be chaired by Sir Gary Verity who has been appointed by Government to oversee this project. Depending on the number and quality of bids received, we may decide to introduce a shortlisting stage, with those shortlisted invited to re-submit final bids in light of feedback given by the board. The board will make a recommendation to Ministers on which venue should host the Great Exhibition of the North.


Competition announced/launched

April 2016

Closing date for competition

30 June 2016

Board assess bids and make recommendation to Ministers

July - August 2016

Winning city/venue announced

September 2016

Exhibition opens

July 2018

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