Sheffield is one of four towns and cities shortlisted to host the Great Exhibition of the North.
The city will compete with Blackpool, Bradford and Newcastle and Gateshead to put on the event in summer 2018.
The Government will give the winning town or city £5m towards the event, with a possible further £5m available in commercial sponsorship. A further £15 million will be put into a legacy fund to attract further cultural investment in the north.
Sheffield’s bid is being run by the city’s Culture Consortium, on behalf of Sheffield City Region.
Professor Vanessa Toulmin, one of two bid leaders, said: “We are proud that Sheffield City Region has been shortlisted in our Year of Making.
“We would not have been able to do this without the tremendous support of the creative industries and businesses of our great region.
“Sheffield will demonstrate how we are the gateway to the north and we will work across cities and towns to help shape the future in art, design, culture and future technology. I would to thank all my colleagues in the Culture Consortium and the bid writing team for getting us on the dance floor.”
The other bid leader Kim Streets, CEO of Museums Sheffield, added: “The Great Exhibition is a brilliant opportunity for the North to demonstrate cultural excellence and ambition for the future.
“Sheffield City Region has talented, creative people, stunning landscape and some of the best public realm in the UK – we have the perfect stage from which to showcase the very best of the North to the World and we are thrilled to be shortlisted.”
Sheffield and the three other finalists will host a visit from the exhibition board in August, before being called to an interview in Leeds. The board will then report to the new minister for digital and culture Matt Hancock and new secretary of state for culture, media and sport Karen Bradley. The winning venue will be announced in the Autumn.
The other entrants were Halifax, Harrogate, Scunthorpe, St Helens and Whitehaven.
Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore said: “We are delighted that Sheffield has been shortlisted for the Great Exhibition of the North. There was some tough competition and to be in the final four cities is an honour.
“I would like to thank the collaboration of partners from the culture consortium for the hard work they put into the bid. Obviously at this stage, we hope we can go all the way and win.”
The Sheffield bid has had testimonials of support by organisations and investors in the city region, and has already secured a pledge of £250,000 from Sheffield Business Improvement District. The bid has support from all sectors and the team is determined to bring the Great Exhibition of the North to this region, as they believe it has the capability, creativity, environment and the right attitude to deliver a true celebration of the north.
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