May 2016

Culture Southampton

These are exciting and challenging times for Southampton, and Southampton Cultural Development Trust (Culture Southampton) is a key driver in the city’s plans for regeneration through transformational cultural initiatives. These plans including the soon-to-be opening of the £24 million new arts complex, Studio 144, that will bring inspiration, opportunity and enjoyment for Southampton’s residents and visitors, and help to establish the city as a major cultural destination. The Trust was originally founded to support the development of the Cultural Quarter, through fundraising and advocacy. With the appointment of its first Director, James Gough, in November 2015, the Trust has taken on a wider role, supporting arts and culture within the whole city to work together, maximising the potential of Southampton’s cultural infrastructure, and providing strategic direction. Culture Southampton and its partner organisations share an ambition for Southampton to achieve a distinct, local, regional and national profile as a centre for artistic and cultural activity and creativity. Our key proposition is that the development of a vibrant, creative cultural life, and the corresponding change in Southampton’s image and reputation, is of huge value to any organisation working in the Southampton area, and particularly to employers, seeking to attract and retain talent to the city. It is a change that cannot be achieved by any individual organisation acting alone but one that requires a concerted, collective commitment. Culture Southampton recognises the importance of attracting and supporting creative industries within the city. Alongside increasing public engagement in arts and culture, and improving communications and the profile for the city, we are working on two major work themes to improve access to affordable work space, as well as developing opportunities to increase the capacity of emerging organisations and individuals to explore and support their growth. If you are interested in finding out more please visit or email