THIS is the striking view in central Southampton as construction work continues on the city’s £40 million new arts complex development.

Work started at the site of the former Tyrrell and Green store in Above Bar in November and the new complex is on course to open in early 2016.

And already the development, which will offer auditoria, galleries, bars, restaurants and plush flats, is starting to take shape.

The city council and developer Grosvenor teamed up to deliver the scheme, which will transform the face of the city’s emerging cultural quarter, based around Guildhall Square and the Civic Centre.

When it opens the £21 million arts complex will feature two auditoria to host a variety of dramatic performances and galleries for new exhibitions as well as state-of-the-art film and media facilities.

And the development around it will contain seven ground-floor restaurants and 38 one, two and three-bedroom apartments over seven floors, which will enjoy stunning views over the city centre.

The apartments will be launched this September by sales agents Savills and some are expected to be completed next summer.

Grosvenor’s project director Simon Armstrong said: “One of the joys of living in the centre of a major city like Southampton are the dramatic views.

“To the west the cruise ships rise from Southampton Water and in the east the parks compliment the scene perfectly.

“There will be nothing else offering the same appeal in the centre of town so close to all the amenities – this development really is a one-off.

“Work is progressing well and the building is now beginning to emerge above the perimeter hoarding.

“The residential part of the scheme will be completed by the summer of 2015 and the arts complex will be handed over to the council for their fit out in February 2015 and will open in Spring 2016.”