Future Southampton

📰 Hammerson breaks ground at WestQuay Watermark with the help of Southampton Hero

    • WestQuay Watermark start on site

    WestQuay Watermark start on site - Photo Credit: Hammerson

Hammerson today celebrated the first major construction milestone for the £80 million development of WestQuay Watermark, as piling works for Southampton’s new leisure and dining hub commenced at the official ground breaking ceremony. To mark the occasion, piling was started by the winner of the 'Hunt for a Local Hero' competition that was held in conjunction with the Southern Daily Echo.

Mike Caws, from Southampton, was chosen to become the city’s local hero as a result of his generous work in the local community. He was by joined senior representatives from Hammerson and Southampton City Council to officially mark the event by pushing the button to kick-off the ground breaking.

Mike devotes his spare time to sharing his passion for football with young people of all backgrounds as part of Soccer School. The project he runs at Cantell Academy. Soccer School provides the city’s children with the opportunity to play football after school, in a fun, safe and friendly environment. Supported by Townhill Lingland Football Club, some of the club's young players have followed Mike’s example and are now coaching assistants.

Robin Dobson, Development Director at Hammerson, said: "Breaking ground onsite today is a significant milestone for us and the city and we are delighted we have been able to involve such a valuable member of the community in this pivotal moment of the development.”

Councillor Simon Letts, Leader of Southampton City Council, added: "This official groundbreaking makes the start of one of our major VIP projects all the more real.  It will be exciting to watch, what will be, our city’s leisure hub emerge at WestQuay Watermark over the coming months.”

Due to open in late 2016, WestQuay Watermark is set to become the new and eagerly awaited dining and leisure destination in Southampton. The scheme has already attracted an impressive line-up of tenants, with Cinema de Lux, a 10-screen cinema and popular restaurants including, Wahaca, Zizzi's and Byron, Nando's, Bill's and Five Guys, some of which will be coming to Southampton for the first time.

The scheme is also the centrepiece of the Southampton City Council’s VIP ‘Heart of the City’ project and identified within its City Centre Master Plan that promotes its vision for the city. It has also received £7 million from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund to support the provision of public realm and a new vibrant plaza.

WestQuay Watermark will be directly adjacent to Hammerson’s existing WestQuay Shopping Centre, which is anchored by major retailers such as John Lewis and Marks & Spencer.