A PLANNED debate into the possible sell-off of part of Southampton’s art collection has been postponed.

The Big Debate was due to take place at Southampton Art Gallery on Thursday, March 6, but will now be held at a new date to be announced.

Daily Echo editor Ian Murray and Southampton City Council leader Simon Letts were due to put the case in favour of some of the city’s £150million art collection being sold off to raise funds for art projects in Southampton.

Liz Goodall from the city’s Chipperfield Advisory Committee and Maurice Davies of the Museums Association were to oppose the sell-off.

Kate Thompson, from organisers Business South, said: “The Big Debate was originally conceived as an opportunity for a business audience to learn more about the issue surrounding the future of the city's art collection.

“It is clear there is a huge amount of public interest in this subject but with the current format, we sadly do not have the space to accommodate a broader audience.

“As a result, Business South has decided to postpone the Big Debate to see if we can find a way to satisfy a wider discussion of this important topic for the city.”