CULTURE and the city's bid can be a key driver for recovery from Covid-19, says one of Southampton's leading elected representatives.

Cllr Satvir Kaur, Cabinet Member for Culture and Homes on Southampton City Council said: “Culture has become the beating heart of Southampton, used to grow the local economy, create city pride, bring people together and help to address social needs.

"Our city has shaped the world, and continues to do so, through innovation and creativity.

"Bidding for UK City of Culture 2025 is our chance to put Southampton on the map, show the world who we are and what we’re made of.

"Let’s use culture as an engine towards Covid-recovery, while enriching lives and transforming communities, so that together we can create a city to be proud of, where people want to work, live, visit and enjoy.”

The first Premier Partner for the bid, Nick Parbutt, CEO and Founder of toob said: “The City of Culture bid is a great opportunity for all who live and work in Southampton to shape the future of the city.

"A cultural vision for Southampton that builds on its rich history and diverse communities will be both inspiring and galvanising for everyone associated with the City.

"Southampton is a great city with a proud history and an exciting future, and at toob we are delighted to be able to support the bid and assist in helping Southampton realise its potential.

"We believe our £50m investment in toob’s full-fibre network provides communities with access to the world class connectivity that will be essential in transforming lives, enhancing businesses and enabling communities to thrive in an increasingly digital world.

"We hope it will also be used as an asset during the run up to 2025 to enhance the creative process and connect people across the city.”

The consultation with stakeholders and the development of the bid themes and branding will take place between now and the end of the year.

The final bid submission will happen in September 2021 with the announcement of the winning city following in December.