In April 2019, it was announced that the University of Southampton, alongside Southampton Solent University, Southampton City Council, Arts Council England and Go! Southampton all plan to cease funding of the Southampton Cultural Development Trust in pursuit of an alternative form of delivery at such a critical juncture in the realisation of the city’s aspirations.
A statement by Southampton City Council (SCC) remarks:
Southampton is at a unique and pivotal moment in its history with a number of strategic projects coming to fruition and the city’s profile growing as an emerging city of opportunity.
The statement also acknowledges the success of the Trust over the past four years as it has facilitated conversation, debate and cohesion, whilst simultaneously negotiating relationships within the city; uniting stakeholders; and promoting ambitions regarding the city’s bid for UK City of Culture in 2025.
In the immediate future, Southampton City Council will lead the Mayflower 400 programme with the support of both Universities and Go! Southampton, and the Cultural City Conference will go ahead as planned. SCC’s plans to transition SCDT arrangements will be released after approval and conformation.
Looking further ahead in Southampton’s cultural journey, the new model intends to build upon the foundation set by the Trust and proceed in the pursuit of the achievement of the established city-wide vision in a collective approach.