Bradford and Sheffield are among four shortlisted cities to host the Great Exhibition of the North in 2018.
The Exhibition will showcase the creative, cultural and design sectors across the North, with the government contributing £5m towards the cost, and a further £15m to a legacy fund.
Blackpool and Newcastle-Gateshead are also still in the race. Nine bids were submitted from Halifax, Harrogate, Scunthorpe, St Helens and Whitehaven, as well as the shortlisted venues. Halifax has now said it will throw its support behind Bradford.
Sir Gary Verity, chairman of the Great Exhibition of the North Board, said: “The Great Exhibition Board look forward to meeting the teams to hear their exciting proposals in person. This is an incredible opportunity to really showcase the creativity and culture we have here in the North and I know whoever wins will thoroughly embrace that vision.”
Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, said: “The Exhibition is a unique opportunity to celebrate the creativity of Northern England. I am determined we democratise the arts and celebrate the best in every part of our nation. What’s more, cultural investment can bring enormous benefits for communities – it drives regeneration, promotes tourism and increases life chances.