Newcastle and Gateshead have jointly beaten off the competition to host the Great Exhibition of the North in 2018. It will be a showcase for art, design and exhibition. We defeated Sheffield, Bradford and Blackpool for the prize. For me, the most important point about the Exhibition is the boost to our tourism economy. This will be another attraction to draw in visitors to the North East who will then spend their money in local businesses. It is estimated that £180 million will be spent in the local economy by people coming to the Exhibition, many from outside the area.
BBC Radio Newcastle phoned me yesterday morning when I was feeding my animals for an interview about the Exhibition. Rather than doing the interview there and then, with hens clucking and goats bleating in the background, I returned home and did the interview live on the landline. I gather the programme had reported on some negative opinion about the Exhibition. I pressed the case that it will be a boost to the local economy and to jobs. I think I got my points across.