NewcastleGateshead has been selected to host a major exhibition showcasing art, design and innovation from the north of England.
Conservative Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said she was won over by Newcastle and Gateshead's "ambition", including the organisers' estimate that the exhibition will attract three million people.
"That level of ambition really did stand out," she told BBC News. "But that doesn't mean this is just for Newcastle-Gateshead."
Mrs Bradley went on to say: "This is an exhibition for the whole north, and certainly through the legacy work, we are looking for bids across the whole of the north of England so we can really show everything the north has to offer."