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North of Tyne Combined Authority to support Lindisfarne Gospels 2022 programme

Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (TWAM) is being awarded a significant grant from the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) in support of the upcoming Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition at the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, from 17 September to 3 December 2022, in partnership with the British Library.

This will be the first time the ancient book, the most spectacular manuscript to survive from Anglo-Saxon England, has been displayed in the city since 2000 and its first showing in the region since the major exhibition in Durham in 2013. 

The Lindisfarne Gospels will feature in a contemporary, multi-sensory exhibition about its meaning in the world today and explore its relationship with themes of personal, regional and national identity. There will also be a variety of public, community and school events across the North East to celebrate the landmark loan from the British Library, as well as a brand-new high-profile artist commission to reimagine the significance of the Gospels for a 21st-century audience.

The programme will also include a supporting exhibition at Newcastle City Library. ‘Libraries and the Lindisfarne Gospels: Sharing stories through the ages’ (17 September to 3 December 2022) will explore the changing way people have shared stories since the creation of the Lindisfarne Gospels in the 8th-century to the modern day, using artefacts from the Newcastle Libraries Heritage collection and special loans from the British Library. A linked programme working with libraries throughout the region will ensure that activity reaches every community.

NTCA is a partnership of three local authorities: Newcastle City Council, North Tyneside Council, and Northumberland County Council and the North of Tyne Elected Mayor.

Its vision is of a dynamic and more inclusive economy, one that brings together people and opportunities to create vibrant communities and high quality of life, narrowing inequalities and ensuring that all residents have a stake in the region's future.

Mayor Jamie Driscoll said: “There is huge excitement that the Lindisfarne Gospels will be returning home.  

They’re one of the world’s great works of art and they are from right here; when the North East was the kingdom of Northumbria and led the world in art, culture, and creativity.

The Lindisfarne Gospels 2022 programme is seeking to engage 300,000 people in this regional celebration, a unique opportunity to showcase the best of our cultural offerings. 

This is not just about bringing visitors to the North of Tyne, which will be great for our economy. It’s about celebrating our region.

North of Tyne Cabinet Member for Culture Creative and Rural Cllr Glen Sanderson, the Leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “The Lindisfarne Gospels are part of our inheritance.

It will be a privilege to be their custodian and will give visitors and communities in Northumberland, North Tyneside and Newcastle something to look forward to in 2022.

This funding from the North of Tyne will help us showcase our region, boosting our businesses, economy and tourism as we ensure a strong recovery from the pandemic.

Keith Merrin, Director, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, said: "We're very grateful for the support of the North of Tyne Combined Authority to help us bring this national treasure to be displayed at the Laing Art Gallery for North East people to enjoy. 

We’re confident that the Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition will benefit our region on many levels – boosting the local economy, directly creating jobs, working with local suppliers and the visitors it will bring to use services in the city and surrounding area. There will be a significant school and community programme for children and young people including within some of our most disadvantaged communities.

Working with attractions across the region to co-ordinate the Inspired by Lindisfarne Gospels 2022 programme we are also helping to raise the profile of our region, as a vibrant and exciting place to visit.

​As well as the exhibitions at the Laing Art Gallery and Newcastle Library, attractions across the North East are hosting events throughout 2022 in celebration of the Lindisfarne Gospels’ display at the Laing Art Gallery. More information here: https://laingartgallery.org.uk/lindisfarne-gospels-2022

To find out more, visit www.laingartgallery.org.uk, or give them a follow on Instagram and Twitter @LaingArtGallery and ‘Laing Art Gallery’ on Facebook.