Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and Great Exhibition recognised at Northern Soul Awards

20 November 2018

Great Exhibition of the North and Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (TWAM) have achieved a cultural hat-trick at The Northern Soul Awards 2018 – together winning a total of three awards.

Newcastle University’s Hatton Gallery won Gallery of the Year, TWAM’s A History of the North in 100 Objects (part of the Great Exhibition of the North) won Exhibition of the Year, and a special award for Northern Soul of the Year went to the Great Exhibition of the North.

Hosted at the iconic Manchester Cathedral on the evening of 15 November, the Northern Soul Awards celebrate and reward cultural and entrepreneurial excellence in the North of England including theatres, music venues, museums, small and large businesses, restaurants, galleries, writers, bars, and festivals.

Prizes were awarded in 18 categories including Large and Small Theatre of the Year, Venue of the Year, and Northern Writer of the Year.

The awards were received by TWAM Director, Iain Watson, and Creative Producer of the Great Exhibition of the North, Maria Bota.

Newcastle University’s Great North Museum was one of three hub venues for this summer’s Great Exhibition of the North, alongside BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Sage Gateshead.

Iain Watson, Director of TWAM said

“2018 has been a cultural game-changer for the North East – it’s been an exceptional year for the region and we’re very proud to have been part of that.

“To win one award is always gratifying but for TWAM to win two awards and also be part of the wider Great Exhibition of the North makes me very proud – we’ve got a fantastic team at TWAM, and these awards are a great recognition of their creativity and dedication.

“We’re also very grateful for the support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Lottery players for both the Story of the North in 100 Objects (as part of the Great Exhibition of the North heritage programme) and for the Hatton Gallery capital project, creating a world class university gallery.” 

Carol Bell, Executive Director, Great Exhibition of The North, said:

“We’re absolutely chuffed to have won the Northern Soul Award for the Great Exhibition of the North and a huge congratulations to TWAM for their double win including Best Exhibition of the Year for A History of the North in 100 Objects which was part of the exhibition.

“To be recognised amongst such fantastic venues and events across the North makes us very proud and is testament to all the hard work of all those involved. We’d especially like to thank the 10,000 plus contributors including artists, scientists and innovators drawn from every county of the North, the 500 Inspired By events which took place across the North as part of the wider Exhibition, our many partners and sponsors, and the 1,000 volunteers who were very much the ‘Northern soul’ of the Exhibition itself.”

Helen Nugent, Editor of Northern Soul, said:

"Great Exhibition of the North was an exceptional achievement and, as far as the judges for the 2018 Northern Soul Awards were concerned, the outstanding candidate for Northern Soul of the Year."

The Great Exhibition of the North showcased the north’s pioneering innovators, designers and artists and their significant contributions to humanity.

The Hatton Gallery at Newcastle University re-opened in October 2017 following a 20-month, £3.8million redevelopment funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), with a ground-breaking launch exhibition that (re)positioned Newcastle as the birthplace of Pop Art.

A History of the North in 100 Objects is a website-based project showcasing the pioneering spirit and impact of the North of England’s inventors, artists, scientists and designers. Allowing the user to become a curator and explore objects picked by people in museums and galleries all over the north, the website is part of the legacy of the Great Exhibition of the North.  

Image: Iain Watson, Director of TWAM, accepting the award for A History of the North in 100 Objects. By Rob Martin