Lots of fancy names: Cultural Quarter; Bargate Quarter; Northgate Quarter; Waterfront Quarter! Reality?

Boring! Boring! Boring! Boring!

Have Southampton City Council, and their developer partners, no imagination or civic pride?

More apartments, retail units, student, accommodation, offices, run of the mill hotels, is all they seem capable of.

The so called Cultural Quarter opened a year ago but feels anything but cultural most of the time, unless dodging skateboarders day and night is the latest cultural event I’ve missed out on!

Apart from the occasional open air event in what should be the thriving and living heart of this great city, it feels anything but attractive most of the time.

Even the Christmas tree is an excuse for a city that has no civic pride, unlike that other nameless city to the east!

What Southampton city centre needs is some imaginative developments that will be landmarks we can be proud of and will be visitor attractions to the vast numbers of cruise passengers and others who would come to this historic and green city!

London has The Eye, Brighton The i360, Portsmouth The Spinnaker Tower. Southampton has the Mayflower “park” wilderness, the derelict “Royal Pier” and Red Funnel Ferry car park and ramps.

Town Quay has flopped, Ocean Village is devoid of visitors to its empty retail units.

At least with the Waterfront Quarter we need something really imaginative so that locals, tourists and cruise passengers, can get up-above the boring 1950/60s buildings to see our amazing Southampton Water, New Forrest, ancient city walls and buildings, world class cruise liners!

A Mayflower Tower perhaps?

Why not develop a best in class Waterfront Conference Centre?

Perhaps capable of linking-up to a moored liner for really major conferences?

Perhaps then the massive over capacity in restaurant covers might have paying customers sat at them enjoying quality food!

Our museums, threatens, vaults could be alive with culture vultures enjoying the real culture we have to offer!

We just need some civic pride, imagination, and quality development partners who are interested in prestige projects and not just quick profits!

Fr Ray Lyons BTh FBII