Southampton City Council announces a joint motion on plans to bid for the City of Culture 2025

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The bid will recognise and celebrate Southampton’s great cultural, community, arts and heritage achievements

At Southampton City Council’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday 15 May, Councillor Satvir Kaur, Cabinet Member for Homes & Culture, and Councillor Dan Fitzhenry, Leader of the Conservative Opposition Group, will announce a joint motion for the council to work collaboratively with elected members, all stakeholders, partners and communities in Southampton to collectively bid for City of Culture in 2025.

Speaking about her aspirations for the bid for City of Culture, Councillor Satvir Kaur, Cabinet Member for Homes & Culture, comments: “Culture has become the beating heart of our great city, with so much to celebrate and be proud of. This motion cements the Council’s commitment to use culture as an engine to transform Southampton, and allow it to reach its full potential. Successful Cities of Culture such as Hull, have shown the huge economic and social impact it can have on a place. There is no reason why Southampton cannot follow suit.

“I am keen that any bid for City of Culture 2025 is owned by everyone, which is why it is so great to get cross party support. We will look forward to working with our partners, stakeholders, and most importantly local communities and people from all ages, backgrounds and abilities, so that we can shape the future of our vibrant, dynamic, cultural city, together.

“There is so much to celebrate about the culture of our great city. By working collaboratively on the City of Culture bid for 2025, we will be able to showcase the fantastic efforts of individuals, groups and organisations from across the city while encouraging those who might not feel as if they are fully engaged to get more involved. Bidding for the City of Culture will present a tremendous opportunity for everyone to shape cultural activity in the city and realise the talent and assets that reside here.”

Councillor Daniel Fitzhenry, Leader of the Conservative Opposition Group, comments: “It’s great to be working collaboratively with members from across the council and partners within the city to highlight and promote the cultural wealth within the city. I am really looking forward to working in partnership to produce a strong bid that reflects the city’s cultural assets and captures its aspirations for the future.”

Cultural activity is proven to support individuals and communities’ health and wellbeing. In addition, a successful City of Culture bid would bring enormous economic benefits to Southampton through significant funding to support events and cultural development, as well as raising the profile and attractiveness of the city for businesses to locate and invest in Southampton. Taking Hull’s successful bid in 2017 as an example, the projected value of tourism was estimated to be over £300 million, with over six million projected visits to the city. 66% of people in the UK were aware that Hull was City of Culture and 71% of residents would speak positively about Hull with three in four residents stating they were proud to live in Hull.

The bid will also recognise and celebrate Southampton’s great cultural, community, arts and heritage achievements, as well as underpinning opportunities for current and future generations.