SOUTHAMPTON has launched a search for a UK City of Culture bid director.

Southampton the recruitment process to find a Bid Director to lead its campaign to be UK City of Culture 2025, following a cross-party joint motion by Southampton City Council.

The new role will report to a supportive Bid Partnership Steering Group, including the University of Southampton, Solent University, Go! Southampton and other partners.

The successful candidate will build on established partnerships and develop new relationships to engage and consult with stakeholders from all sectors in the city, co-creating a compelling vision and narrative for Southampton’s City of Culture 2025 bid.

The announcement follows significant investment in the cultural infrastructure of the city, including the opening in 2018 of the new Cultural Quarter and purpose-built venue for visual art, theatre and film, housing City Eye, John Hansard Gallery, Nuffield Southampton Theatres and ZoieLogic Dance Theatre.

These join the established Mayflower Theatre, City Art Gallery, SeaCity Museum, O2 Guildhall, as well as others such as Turner Sims Southampton and the freshly opened God’s House Tower.

Southampton’s cultural scene includes ArtAsia, ‘a-space’ arts, Artful Scribe, Artswork, Black History Month – Southampton, SoCoMusic, SON, Southampton Heritage Federation, Solent Sky Museum, SS Shieldhall, Tudor House and Garden, Maritime Archaeology Trust and many other local organisations involved in creating cultural activity.

The appointment will be made ahead of the Mayflower 400 anniversary in 2020, which will be marked in the city with a year-long programme of events, including a significant partnership programme by Southampton’s cultural organisations.

The year will be a unique testbed and foundation for the City of Culture bid, building grassroots networks and cultural and artistic ambition and acting as a showcase for the city to visitors from the UK and internationally.

Cabinet Member for homes and culture, Councillor Satvir Kaur said: "The Bid Director will have an exciting opportunity to reach out across all of Southampton’s communities to involve people from all ages and backgrounds in shaping the future of our thriving city.

"The appointment of a talented Director will ensure our investment leads to even greater benefits for Southampton.

"We already have an amazing story to tell and I can’t wait to start working with the successful candidate to pull together a winning bid.”