BAE Systems pulls out of Great Exhibition of the North - Museums Association

BAE Systems pulls out of Great Exhibition of the North

Artists' protests force a rethink on sponsorship deal
Patrick Steel
The arms firm BAE Systems has withdrawn its sponsorship of the Great Exhibition of the North after a number of artists pulled out and others threatened to follow suit in protest at its involvement.

A statement released last week by the firm said: "While BAE Systems remains supportive of the aims of the Great Exhibition we have decided to redirect our support to other initiatives better suited to both our skills and innovation objectives and in support of the industrial strategy of the north of England."

Carol Bell, the executive director for the Great Exhibition of the North, said: “Our overall budget is made up of contributions from a wide range of partners, including government, Virgin Trains, Accenture, Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund, VisitEngland, Innovate UK and other corporate partners.

“While the value of individual contributions is commercially sensitive, with such a broad base of support this decision won’t have a negative impact on either the programme or the overall visitor experience.

“Working with all of our partners we are committed to showcasing the best of great northern art and culture, design and innovation and have a strong programme of exhibitions, events, commissions and experiences across all of these strands.

“We’re entirely focused on delivering a hugely successful event this summer, which includes ongoing work to explore opportunities for new partnerships which could bring additional support or content to the exhibition.”

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