The University of Southampton and Solent University have both become official partners for Southampton’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2025.
This comes after significant contributions to the bidding process by both universities, with students from Solent creating the launch video and the University of Southampton leading the research and evaluation of the consultation phase of the bid.
The consultation phase, which began in November, aimed to keep the local community at the heart of Southampton’s bid, including using city-wide virtual focus groups and an online public survey.
Professor Mark E. Smith, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Southampton said:
‘The University of Southampton is proud to pledge our support for the bid to become UK City of Culture 2025. We already support arts in the city through our concert hall and art gallery, our outreach programmes and of course hundreds of thousands of pounds a year. As the lead organisation in the Southampton Cultural Education Partnership we are engaged in research into the city’s arts and cultural impact, this bid will allow us to further put our world leading research expertise to work for the benefit of the city.’
As the cultural aspirations of the city and its two largest institutions are linked to promote the city around the world, equality, diversity and inclusion have been pledged to be embedded into all aspects of the the plans. Also, both universities intend to promote and support sustainability strategies as part of the bid.