Stephenson's Rocket, long stationed at London's Science Museum and part of its collection, will now remain in the North of England after its display as part of the Great Exhibition of the North.
The iconic feat of locomotive engineering was bult in Newcastle in 1829, and its homecoming for the Great Exhibition of the North earlier this year – the first time in 150 years – was seen as a huge highlight of the programme. It has helped increase visitors to the Discover Museum in Newcastle by over 100% on 2017.
The Rocket will now move to manchester in September after the NewcastleGateshead exhibition closes before returning to the Science Museum before it's journey to the National Railway Museum in York, where it will remain for the long-term. The move has been welcomed by Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS).
Jeremy Wright said: “Stephenson’s Rocket is an iconic part of Britain’s proud railway history and it is fantastic news that it will remain on long-term display in the North.
“It is right that our great art and culture reaches all parts of the country. This bold move by The Science Museum Group will ensure more people can see this national treasure and is an inspiring example of what can be done to make culture available to the widest possible audience.”
Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum Group, said: “The Science Museum Group is a truly national organisation, and enthusiastic about bringing the world’s greatest science and technology collection to everyone. I warmly endorse the Secretary of State’s commitment to strengthening fair and excellent cultural provision across the UK. A country with such an amazing history of innovation deserves it.”
Stephenson's Rocket / Image: The Board of the Trustees of the Science Museum