Southampton to Launch Bid to Become City of Culture18th March 2013
Southampton and Portsmouth are joining forces in a bid to become 2017`s UK City of Culture.
The cities are working together to submit a formal bid by 1 April, which will outline how residents, visitors and businesses will benefit from the partnership. It will also include a programme of cultural events to be delivered throughout the year.
A shared maritime history, brought into the 21st century with Southampton`s SeaCity Museum and Portsmouth`s state-of-the-art new Mary Rose Museum, illustrates some of the ways both cities complement each other.
The joint partnership is also strengthened by flourishing live music scenes, theatre and art connections, and comes with opportunities to turn an old reputation for rivalry between the two cities into a force for collaboration.
Richard Williams, leader of Southampton City Council, said: “As far as this bid is concerned we are two sides of the same coin. Both our cities are world-famous for their shared nautical history and are the twin cultural hubs for the central south coast.
"By combining our unique and considerable attractions into one super-bid we will show the rest of Britain all of what south Hampshire has to offer both from our rich past and our exciting cultural future. Becoming City of Culture will strengthen our regeneration plans to deliver £1 billion worth of investment in such landmark developments as Sea City, Tudor House Museum, Watermark West Quay and the city’s waterfront.”
Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: "Portsmouth has been growing its ambitious cultural attractions over the years, but we believe a combined offer would be even stronger.
"As the home of great writing this is a fantastic opportunity for Portsmouth to share and celebrate its many literary connections, such as Dickens, Doyle, Kipling and HG Wells. Not to mention the exciting plans for the rest of the city.
"We`ll be working hard to deliver a comprehensive bid, which if successful would act as a catalyst for significant change in both cities. Our regeneration strategy is on track to secure £1bn worth of funding, and part of that was through a joint City Deal with Southampton, so joint working has already proved to work."
News courtesy of Southampton City Council.
Sea City Museum - Exterior