2018 is the Year of the North

2018 will shine a light on the North of England. Liverpool launches a cultural programme marking 10 years since the city was named European Capital of Culture. This is followed by the International Business Festival on 12–28 June. Shortly after, Newcastle-Gateshead hosts the three-month Great Exhibition of the North dedicated to telling the story of Northern England through its art and culture, design and innovation.

We will be supporting and providing opportunities around the cultural and business events throughout 2018. Here are some of the highlights of the North's cultural activity.

China's First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors visit a UK museum outside of London for the first time in over 30 years. This remarkable archaeological discovery will include a number of objects never before seen in a UK show.

Great Exhibition of the North sees Newcastle-Gateshead hosting this spectactular three-month celebration of the art and culture, design and innovation of the North of England. Read more about the opening celebration.

Stephenson's Rocket, the magnificent engineering feat from 1829 that was famed for being the fastest locomotive at the time, is returning to its birthplace in Newcastle from its current home at London's Science Museum.

Hull has a heap of cultural activity following its 2017 as UK City of Culture. From the daring satirical sideswipe at the running of the year-long festival penned by the writer of West End hits Ink and Labour of Love (The Culture – A Farce in Two Acts at Hull Truck Theatre 26 January – 17 February) to the Hull Jazz Festival in July, the legacy of Hull's run as UK City of Culture continues well into 2018 and beyond. 

Northern Ballet is Leeds' nationally-renowned professional touring ballet company and one of their big productions in 2018 is an adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. Premiered last May, this UK tour of the show begins at Leeds Grand Theatre 7–14 March. The company will also continue performing The Little Mermaid into May, revive The Three Musketeers in autumn after 10 years, and finish 2018 with festive favourite The Nutcracker

Tate Liverpool celebrates 30 years of existence in 2018 with two prominent exhibitions: Egon Schiele and Francesca Woodman and an exhibition curated by the one constant throughout the gallery's 30 years – Art Handling Manager, Ken Simons. Exploring the Unseen includes 30 works, most of which are Ken's personal favourites.

Finally, the Simplyhealth Great North Run is the world's biggest half-marathon with over 57,000 runners taking part on 9 September. Crossing the Tyne Bridge, through Gateshead and onto South Shields and the coast, this celebrated event is a fitting closer to the Great Exhibition of the North. 

Let's take the opportunity to make an impact and celebrate our successes. Got plans you want to share or have an award win you're excited about or want to collaborate with your peers to make the most of all these cultural opportunities? Write a story on the Culture Diary so we can let everyone know. Add your events, of course. And get in touch with us!

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