Sage Gateshead, the international home for music and musical discovery located in the North East of England, is giving its seal of approval to Culture Week, a Northern Powerhouse initiative celebrating the role culture plays in making the North of England a great place to live.

To mark Culture Week, Sage Gateshead is announcing two landmark anniversaries for its most popular programmes, which will be celebrated fully as part of 2018’s Great Exhibition of the North.

The internationally acclaimed Royal Northern Sinfonia, the UK’s only full-time chamber orchestra, which is based at Sage Gateshead, is celebrating its 60th birthday in 2018, and the Folkworks programme, England’s leading folk music development agency, turns 30.

Culture Week follows on from the success of Skills Week in October, and is one of a series of themed weeks focusing on the core areas of the Northern Powerhouse, including education, enterprise, innovation, connectivity and transport. To achieve this, the Government’s Northern Powerhouse team is collaborating with a number of creative organisations that form part of the Northern Powerhouse Partner network for the initiative.

Abigail Pogson, Managing Director at Sage Gateshead, said: “The North is the ideal place to celebrate culture. Liverpool and Hull have been highlighted as cities of culture, and both our home, Gateshead, and neighbouring Newcastle, are renowned for their excellent museums, art, and performance venues.

The Northern Powerhouse agenda is focused on boosting local economies across the North, and continuing to invest in our cultural treasures that attract visitors to our region.

“Sage Gateshead is proud to bring an eclectic range of performances, from the biggest stars to fresh local acts, in every genre from classic rock to avant-garde. We also strive to engage local schools and residents to come together through a love of music.”

Abigail added: “We are very excited to be celebrating two landmark anniversaries for Royal Northern Sinfonia and Folkworks as part of the Great Exhibition of the North, and we are delighted to announce our plans as part of Culture Week Celebrations. We hope that our participation will help shine the spotlight on the North as an area of cultural excellence.”

Culture Week is a Government initiative and begins on December 4th.