Funding to back Southampton 2025 UK City of Culture bid approved

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Today Southampton City Council unanimously approved the funding and support the council will provide to the Southampton 2025 Trust if the city’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2025 is successful.

Southampton’s bid is an exciting prospect for the city to shout about all that it has to offer and create new opportunities. The coronavirus pandemic has had a big impact on the country and Southampton is no different, the bid provides us an opportunity to rebuild and support the city in its economic and social recovery, building a better future for all.

UK City of Culture status provides the winning city with huge profile and creates business opportunities which translate into new jobs for residents. Previous winners have seen a boost to their economy in the order of hundreds of millions of pounds. Southampton City Council is committed to the city, celebrating the diversity and creating opportunities for all, this is why today we have agreed to provide the support needed to back the bid. This support from the Southampton City Council is alongside the backing from many other partners and businesses across the city with more partnerships to be announced in the coming months.

Councillor Satvir Kaur, Cabinet Member for Culture and Homes, Southampton City Council, said:

"The commitment and investment pledges from anchor institutions like Solent University, University of Southampton and GO! Southampton have been an important part of ensuring this is a city led project. It has also helped secure business partners toob, and newly committed Seasonal Partners Westquay, both of which have committed their support for the bid period and beyond.

A recent city survey showed 82% of Southampton residents are supportive of our bid, and Southampton City Council will continue to play a leading role in this project, with today’s commitment reflecting our ongoing support. Culture has become the beating heart of Southampton; used to grow the local economy, create city pride, bring people together, and help to address social needs. Bidding for UK City of Culture 2025 is our chance to put Southampton on the map, show the world who we are and what we’re made of. We are using culture as an engine towards covid-recovery, while enriching lives and transforming communities. So that together we can create a city to be proud of, where people want to work, live, visit and enjoy."

Councillor Daniel Fitzhenry, Leader of the Conservative Opposition Group, Southampton City Council said:

"I am delighted to further support Southampton’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2025. This is an opportunity to bring investment into our city and unlock our potential, creating new jobs and a sense of pride in our home.

The last year has been tough, but our sense of spirit and belief is strong, our bid will help us rebuild and make the most of our potential. We live in a great city & this is our chance to promote our city further on an international stage, showcasing it to the world and celebrating our heritage and culture for everyone."

Watch the Southampton 2025 UK City of Culture bid launch video.