uk city of culture Backing Southampton’s bid to be the

UK City of Culture in 2025 Southampton is home to more than a quarter of a million people from over 60 different countries

It is a city of culture, lots of culture; a city of music, sport, dance, food, heritage, art and theatre. And now, it is bidding to become the UK City of Culture in 2025. This is a huge opportunity for the city to celebrate the wealth of cultural activity already taking place while showcasing the city’s diversity.

This bid is about celebrating what the city has and using the journey to achieve Southampton’s ambitions as a city.

There is a lot to gain from becoming a UK City of Culture. When Hull was UK City of Culture in 2017 it added £300 million to its tourism market and up to £17m gross value was added to its local economy.

Southampton’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2025, if successful, will look to deliver similarly substantial economic, social and cultural impacts.

This is why the business community in the city, and surrounding areas, need to get behind the bid.

Nick Parbutt’s company, broadband provider toob, was the first to sign up as a premier partner for the bid and he says it was because of the city’s “huge potential.”

The founder and chief executive spoke of the importance of Southampton’s bid for City of Culture status in 2025, saying: “We have been working here since the end of 2019 and the more you see of the city, the more aware you become of its huge potential. And it is a place that people don’t shout enough about in my view.

“When you look at the wonderful mix of heritage, history and current vibrant and diverse culture, it’s easy to see why Southampton has so much to offer.

“The bid really gives us an opportunity to create a vision for the city, and what it stands for, and I would like to encourage other businesses to take part in sponsorship to help in supporting and delivering a lasting change for the city.”

Parbutt said the bid would generate more pride and attract new business and investment and hopefully encourage young talent to stay in Southampton, especially graduates.

The newly-formed provider is partway through delivering full-fibre broadband service to thousands of homes and businesses in Southampton in the first stage of a rollout across the south, with work set to be completed in 2022, and represents a £50m investment.

The City of Culture 2025 bid was launched in October and now consultation across the city has begun. Judges are expected to visit midway through this year.

A final decision on the winning bid – rivals include Bradford, Medway and Lancashire – is expected by the end of 2021.

To find out more, or to discuss a partnership, contact Gemma Nichols, Southampton UK City of Culture 2025, commercial director: click here

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