Future Southampton

📰 Southampton attracts capacity crowd at hospitality showcase event

On 13 May, representatives from Southampton City Council and their development partners were in London to showcase restaurant, bar and café occupier opportunities across a range of major developments in the city. Over 50 high quality units are available at Admirals Quay (Allied Developments), the Arts Complex (Grosvenor), Centenary Quay (Crest Nicholson), Royal Pier Waterfront (Morgan Sindall / Lucent), and Watermark WestQuay (Hammerson). The event, which was sponsored and hosted by Savills at their London Headquarters, was attended by some of the UK’s top names in the hospitality industry.

Opening the event was a rhubarb breakfast from a recipe by Southampton’s own Michelin star chef Paul Ainsworth, which was prepared by a team of catering and hospitality students from City College Southampton.

Then, a capacity crowd listened with interest to a passionate presentation from Southampton City Council’s Chief Executive, Dawn Baxendale. Dawn detailed the £1.5 billion of developments already committed in the city, which have instigated huge demand for new restaurants, bars and cafes. With a vision for £3 billion of investment by 2030 and the creation of up to 24,000 jobs in the longer term, this demand is set to soar over the next 15 years.

    • Dawn Baxendale, Southampton City Council CEO (centre) with committed developers and Savills sponsor Gavin Hall (left)

    Dawn Baxendale, Southampton City Council CEO (centre) with committed developers and Savills sponsor Gavin Hall (left)

    • Delegates filling the conference venue at Savills HQ occupiers event

    Delegates filling the conference venue at Savills HQ occupiers event

    • Networking for Southampton's hospitality

    Networking for Southampton's hospitality

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Kevin Marsh, Head of Licensed Leisure Development at Savills spoke of the various projects taking place across Southampton, and why 2014 is the key time for expansion into the city that is the economic powerhouse of the south coast.

The dining and hospitality units identified across Southampton’s current large-scale developments are already generating a great deal of interest. Grosvenor, the developer of Southampton’s new arts complex, is in the final stages of talks with a number of occupiers for units within the complex, and will announce these soon. Similarly, Allied Developments are in advanced talks for all eight of their available hospitality units within what will be Southampton’s tallest residential building at Admirals Quay.

Dawn Baxendale, Chief Executive of Southampton City Council, said: “This event has been a great success. We have achieved our ambition to attract and engage a wide variety of occupiers, agents, investors, and developers who have an interest in our city. 

“The skills of the City College students on display at the event demonstrated the high level of talent already flourishing in Southampton. Put that talent alongside the 50+ new units being created to meet the increase in demand for dining and hospitality in the city, and it’s easy to see why the major brands want to come and get involved here.

“I am very excited by the relationships we’ve made today and am looking forward to the future dining landscape in Southampton.”

Kevin Marsh, Head of Licensed Leisure Development at Savills, said: “It is really encouraging to see a council actively looking to bring forward developments in the city. The fact that Southampton’s skyline is dotted with cranes is testament to the council’s plan coming together. My team is acting on three of the developments on show today, with new lettings being discussed on a weekly basis. The level of enquiries and the interest expressed in respect of today’s event is testament to the appetite of both new brands and established restaurant operators to be in Southampton.”

Simon Armstrong, Projects Director for Grosvenor, said: “Southampton and the Arts Complex is a key priority for Grosvenor over the next 12 months. The city has the potential for expansion, population growth and job creation, with ever more people seeking city centre living and working opportunities.  We are in advanced talks with a number of dining and hospitality brands within the Arts Complex development, which will add new and exciting restaurant offers to the city.”

    • Southampton's exclusive Michelin Star rhubarb breakfast

    Southampton's exclusive Michelin Star rhubarb breakfast

    • Southampton City College catering stars serve up Paul Ainsworth's rhubarb breakfast

    Southampton City College catering stars serve up Paul Ainsworth's rhubarb breakfast

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Sarah Stannard, Principal and CEO of City College Southampton, said: “This has been a wonderful opportunity, not only for our students to show what they’re capable of, but for Southampton as a city to raise its profile as a place that is developing a highly-skilled, new generation of employees for the catering and hospitality industry.”

Megan Curtis [one of the four City College students attending the event], 18, from Southampton, said: “It was an honour to be one of the students picked to take part and it was such a good experience. I’m in the process of applying for an apprenticeship with the Exclusive Chef’s Academy at Lainston House in Winchester, so this will look brilliant on my CV.”

For more information about these occupier opportunities, and the many developer and investor opportunities in the city, please contact Jeff Walters, Economic Development Manager, Southampton City Council: 02380 832 256