Bradford has thrown its cap into the ring as a potential host for the Great Exhibition of the North in 2018.

The exhibition is part of the Government’s flagship, “Northern Powerhouse” initiative and culture minister Ed Vaizey has invited towns and cities from across the region to bid for the 2 month exhibition.

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The Government will contribute £5m towards the event itself and a further £15m in a legacy fund, to attract further cultural investment in the Northern Powerhouse.

The competition closes in June this year, with the chosen venue announced in the Autumn. Sir Gary Verity, the chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire has been appointed to chair the Great Exhibition Board, that will review applications.

Bradford, which already has its hashtag, #BradfordGXn, wants to promote the city as an “ambitious, confident and forward-looking place with a young and diverse population, strong business community, vibrant arts and cultural scene, great transport connections and excellent quality of life.”

“The renaissance underway in our proud city makes Bradford the perfect place to host the Great Exhibition of the North,” said Susan Hinchliffe, leader of Bradford Council.

The bid is being advised by Clare Morrow, the former chair of Welcome to Yorkshire, while Shelagh O’Neill, who was project director for the City Park water feature will lead the team. Arup, the global engineering consultancy, is providing input on venues, logistics and creative direction.

The Bradford team has also been seeking help from creative thinkers from the arts, technology and design fields to support the bid.