A message from the Chief Executive

12 October 2016


Dear Colleague.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced on Tuesday 11th October that Newcastle & Gateshead will host the Great Exhibition of the North in summer 2018. 

Our congratulations go to Newcastle & Gateshead and we look forward to helping celebrate the North’s collective talent and playing a role in the creation of an unforgettable once-in-a lifetime opportunity for the North of England.

Of course we are disappointed not to be hosting the event in Lancashire but Blackpool was one of just four short-listed finalists and wholeheartedly set about putting together a winning bid and turning this around in a very short space of time.

Blackpool was the only town pitched against three cities, supported by a pan-Lancashire bid that was strong on creativity, innovation and design centred around the amazing winter Gardens but engaged with partner organisations both across the county and the North of England.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who supported the process, from the first ‘Meeting of Minds’ gathering, through the social media campaign, to the judges’ visit to Blackpool and the formal interview.  The social media activity alone had a potential reach of almost 4.5million people, peaking on Friday 9 September when #BlackpoolGEX18 was trending on Twitter. For all those who collaborated, supported and encouraged the development and submission of the bid, it is testament to our ambition and confidence in not only what we can offer but in what we can create and produce.

The bid reminded us about what we’re good at and what we’re capable of, made us feel even more proud of our heritage, culture and creativity and was a wholly positive experience which we aim to build on. Myself, Polly Hamilton from Blackpool Council and Michael Trainor from LeftCoast have a call with DCMS on Friday to hear the judging feedback and for us to understand more about how we can still be involved in someway with the Great Exhibition in 2018.

Thank you again for your support and I hope that we’ll be working together again soon on activities that champion our wonderful county and people.

Ruth Connor

Chief Executive

Marketing Lancashire

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