THE BID to crown Southampton as the City of Culture in 2025 launches today.

It is hoped that the City of Culture title would draw hundreds of millions of pounds in tourism cash to the area.

It is a chance to “celebrate the wealth of cultural activity happening in the city, to showcase diversity, and in doing so, address the challenges the city is


Commenting on the bid, Lou Taylor, director of Black History Month South said: “I have lived, worked and raised my family in Southampton for over 30 years. It’s a warm, friendly city and always ready to welcome people and make them feel part of its fabric within a very short space of time.”

He added: “Southampton becoming UK City of Culture 2025 would place the spotlight on the wide range of nationalities and cultures the city has to offer and open a window into the amazing advantages diversity brings. The benefits to commerce, entertainment and cultural heritage are immeasurable and give Southampton a uniqueness that is seldom seen.”

As reported previously civic chiefs outlined their bid for Southampton to become the city of culture and called on businesses to get behind the proposal in September.

City council bosses met with commerce figures from across the city to discuss how they could support the move.

A statement from the council said: “There is a lot to gain from becoming a UK City of Culture.

“When Hull was UK City of Culture in 2017 it added £300 million to their tourism market and up to £17 million gross value added to their local economy. Southampton’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2025, if successful, will look to deliver similarly substantial economic, social and cultural impacts.”

“Businesses who become partners will be given huge profile in the city and the wider region and will have the opportunity to shape their involvement in line with their business objectives,” the statement added.

Sandy Hopkins, Chief Executive of Southampton City Council said: “Winning the bid will put the city of Southampton, and the surrounding Hampshire and Isle of Wight area, on the map, literally and figuratively, bringing with it so many benefits for the people who live and work here.”

It is said the title will transform the profile and the prosperity of Southampton and use the power of culture to ensure the city reaches its full potential.