The county of Cumbria and the town of Halifax are backing Bradford’s bid to host the Great Exhibition of the North after missing out on the shortlist.
The city is one of four locations to be shortlisted in the Government-backed competition to host the two-month event in summer 2018.
Winning support from Cumbria and Halifax will strengthen Bradford’s claim to represent the best location for the exhibition.
Individuals, organisations and businesses can show their support for Bradford on social media channels on Friday September 16 by using the hashtags #BradfordGXn and #GreatNorthExpo2018.
A total of nine locations across the North of England submitted bids to host the exhibition, including Cumbria and Halifax.
Sam Mason, chair of the Halifax Business Improvement District and chief executive of The Piece Hall Trust, said on behalf of the Halifax bid team: “We are delighted to put our support behind our close Yorkshire neighbour Bradford and wish them the best of luck in this next stage of the bidding process to host the Great Exhibition of the North.
“We are excited by the diversity of participation and content, and the commitment behind their bid, and believe they will be able to host a fantastic exhibition.
“There is a huge amount of potential for a real legacy to come from the Great Exhibition, particularly in a city such as Bradford and the surrounding region, and we will offer any assistance we can to make the event a success.”
Celia MacKenzie, chief executive of Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners, said on behalf of the Cumbria bid team: “As a young city, Bradford wants to show that it has a lot to offer, just like Cumbria has.
“The themes of Bradford’s bid – experience, enjoy, create, innovate, explore and inspire – resonate with the Cumbria’s and will promote recognition as a major player in the economy of the North.
“We could bring our great experience in our science, technology, engineering and creative digital technology, the support of big businesses such as BAE Systems and QinetiQ and a great array of innovative entrepreneurial businesses.
“The Cumbria bid had the support from all of our MPs and all seven local authorities, Lake District National Park, Cumbria LEP and we now support and want to work with Bradford to widen the area that its outstanding exhibition will reach.”
Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, said: “The North of England is at its best when its great towns, cities and rural areas work together and combine their strengths.
“We are delighted to welcome the support of Cumbria and Halifax and believe that our bid can help to unite the North and deliver an excellent showcase for the art, culture, design and business talent that exists across our region.”
Bradford is planning to stage awe-inspiring and immersive mass participation events, which bring together leading artists, designers and business innovators to create a world-class experience that will be thought provoking, transformative, life affirming, welcoming, playful, optimistic and fun.
The shortlist will now be assessed by the Great Exhibition board before a final selection is made by Ministers. The chosen venue will be announced in the autumn.