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Volunteers sought to help make Exhibition ‘Great’

Enthusiastic individuals with a passion for the North are sought to help fill 1000 volunteer roles for Great Exhibition of the North, an opportunity to be part of the biggest event in England in 2018 and deliver a warm-welcome to millions of visitors.

Celebrating great art and culture, design, and innovation from across the North, the Exhibition will see 80-days of amazing exhibits, inspired technology, vibrant street performance, cutting edge culture and magical experiences.

Carol Bell, executive director of Great Exhibition of the North, said: “Great Exhibition of the North is a once in a lifetime event, and a big part of its success will come down to an army of enthusiastic volunteers who can help bring the Exhibition to life with passion.

“We’re seeking people from all walks of life to help us deliver the warm welcome that Northern cities are famous for providing and to interpret the stories and exhibits on display in venues and out on the streets across NewcastleGateshead this summer. No previous experience of volunteering is necessary, and we have a full induction process to ensure that volunteers are well equipped and have a brilliant experience as an important part of the Great Exhibition of the North team.”

Alongside individuals with previous public event experience, the Great Exhibition of the North team are keen to offer opportunities to young people and those seeking employment or are looking to build their experience and skill-set.

Councillor Kim McGuinness, Cabinet Member for Culture and Communities at Newcastle City Council, said: “People from the North of England have a reputation for a friendliness, pride and a willingness to give back. We already have fantastic volunteer networks in our city, working in our parks and cultural venues really making a difference. The volunteering programme is a shout out across the North to get people involved in the Great Exhibition of the North. It’s a great opportunity to attract enthusiastic volunteers to use their skills and build new ones whilst being an integral part of this fantastic exhibition programme.”

Gateshead Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Volunteering, Councillor Linda Green, said: “Gateshead Council has always been extremely proud of its volunteers and the huge contribution they make to their local communities.

“To have the chance to play a part in the many events and activities taking place during Great Exhibition of the North and welcome visitors from across the globe to the biggest event in England in 2018 is a fantastic opportunity. I would encourage as many people as possible to get involved and demonstrate the strong volunteering culture we have in the region.”

Volunteers will be offered up to 12 hours of training between February and June 2018 and will have the opportunity to provide the Great Exhibition of the North with up to 40 volunteering hours between 18 June and 9 September 2018.

Following application, volunteers will be invited to a selection event, training and orientation before an Exhibition preview, giving them behind the scenes access to the full programme of events and exhibits.

Volunteer applications can be completed online at, for further information or to ask about flexible approaches to volunteering, email [email protected].

Great Exhibition of the North takes place from Friday June 22 to Sunday September 9, 2018. Three walking trails across NewcastleGateshead focussing on arts and culture, design and innovation will showcase exciting ideas from across Northern England.

The free, family-friendly exhibition will feature a stunning opening event that will see the unveiling of an 80m long water fountain in the River Tyne reaching the height of the Tyne Bridge. The dramatic display has been specially commissioned for the Great Exhibition of the North and showcases the collaboration between industry and art that runs through the entire programme. Inspired by The Angel of the North, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2018, three newly commissioned music compositions will provide a soundtrack to the water fountain and each one will be premiered on the evening of 22 June.

An arrival film – a key piece of programming for anyone visiting the exhibition – will have its world premiere as part of the ‘Get North’ opening event where it will be projected at large scale at the Quayside.

Renowned writer, poet and playwright Lemn Sissay will also unveil a specially commissioned anthem for the North.

Great Exhibition of the North will also feature a display of iconic Northern objects including John Lennon’s Record Plant piano and the spacesuit worn by the first Briton in space, Sheffield-born Helen Sharman.

Stephenson’s iconic Rocket will return to its birthplace in Newcastle upon Tyne and 2017 Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid will present an exhibition of new work at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.

The Exhibition will also highlight the North’s strengths in key sectors, including digital, health innovation and energy, as well as profiling great Northern innovations such as Graphene, which was discovered by scientists working at the University of Manchester in 2004.

The full 80-day Great Exhibition of the North programme will be unveiled at the end of February.

The Great Exhibition of the North is expected to engage an audience of three million people and bring a £184 million boost to the North East, showing how cultural investment can benefit and inspire entire communities.