• Conor welcomes town’s bid to host Great Exhibition of the North

    Conor has welcomed the “fantastic news” that St Helens has joined the battle to stage the Great Exhibition of the North.

    The St Helens North MP has thrown his full support behind the bid submitted by St Helens Council last week.

    Towns and cities across the North West, North East and Yorkshire have been invited to bid to put on the two-month exhibition in 2018.

    Conor said: “It’s fantastic news that our bid has gone in for St Helens to stage the Great Exhibition of the North.

    “I’m right behind these exciting plans that could see us hosting a huge event to showcase the region’s creative and cultural talent.

    “The Great Exhibition would give St Helens a chance to mark the borough’s 150th anniversary in 2018 by celebrating the best of design, innovation and art in the region.

    “It would provide a springboard to boost regeneration and help drive forward our local economy.

    “The bid aims to build on our history that saw St Helens lead the way in the industrial revolution.”

    “Now, we can be at the centre of the latest innovation and design projects that will draw the local community in to all the different events during the exhibition.”

    Towns and cities across the North East, North West and Yorkshire have been invited to bid to put on the exhibition.

    The Government is contributing £5 million towards the exhibition itself and another £15 million for a legacy fund to attract further investment to the North.

    Those backing the bid include National Museums Liverpool, Dadafest, Live Art Development Agency, University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University and the Institute of Cultural Capital.

    St Helens will find out if the bid has been successful when the winner is announced in the autumn.

    Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, has been appointed by the Chancellor George Osborne to chair the Great Exhibition Board that will report to Ministers on the applications.