Government announces £15m culture fund for north

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Towns and cities across the north will be able to bid for a share of a new £15million fund to help build a lasting regional legacy from the Great Exhibition of the North.

Projects could include opening a new tech start-up centre or renovating live music venues and should increase opportunities for people to experience, benefit and contribute to culture and creativity.

The Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund will make grants of up to £4million available to support major culture and tech capital projects.

The Great Exhibition of the North, a £5million exhibition to showcase the best of northern art, design and innovation, will be held in Newcastle and Gateshead next summer.

The first round of bids will be coordinated by Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), including the North East LEP. The successful projects will be announced in March 2018.

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said: “This £15million fund is a fantastic chance for towns and cities to develop inspirational projects that could have a transformative local effect – particularly in communities that have seen less cultural or creative investment in the past.

“We want as many people as possible to benefit from the Great Exhibition of the North and this fund will boost the Northern Powerhouse and help build a lasting legacy across the whole region.”

Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry added: “The North is a cultural powerhouse, as well as an economic one, and this £15million fund will give a boost to the region’s vibrant culture and tech sectors.

“We’ve already invested over £3.4billion for projects to boost local economies in the Northern Powerhouse and this latest funding will help make sure the Great Exhibition of the North creates a legacy for years to come.”