Southampton 2025 Trust have confirmed a partnership with the Saints to back the City of Culture bid.

The partnership has been developed to support the bid and beyond with Southampton Football Club adding their name alongside several other local businesses and institutions who have already pledged their support.

Bidding to be UK City of Culture provides an opportunity to showcase all areas of culture including the city’s strong sporting heritage.

Toby Steele, Southampton FC Managing Director said “We are delighted to partner with Southampton UK City of Culture 2025 and offer our full backing to this really exciting bid. As a club, we are proud to represent such a vibrant and diverse city, and I have no doubt that a successful UK City of Culture bid will help Southampton become an even better place to live, work and visit long into the future. We look forward to working together with the bid team on a number of exciting initiatives over the coming months and years and wish the team the very best of luck with their application”.

Alumni from the club have already shown their support, with Lawrie McMenemy MBE committing to supporting the city through his role as Southampton 2025 Ambassador.

“Southampton has got so much to offer. We have the biggest liners in the world coming here, there is a complete mix of people from all different backgrounds, and there are more smiles on the faces than frowns.

“When I got the call asking if I would like to be an ambassador for Southampton’s UK City of Culture bid, I could not believe it.

"To me it's a great honour and the people in the area deserve to be recognised for the good work they do and to show off the sort of place it is to live. “

The club is at heart of the city and plays a vital role in bringing the city’s diverse communities together. The countdown has begun towards a record-breaking event coming to St Mary’s stadium, Southampton, that promises to be the major football tournament of summer 2022 - UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 is the biggest women's football event in UEFA history with three matches being held at the home of the Saints.

Claire Whitaker OBE, Southampton 2025 UK City of Culture Bid Director said “Our sporting culture in Southampton is world-class, whether its football, cricket, basketball or any other sports in the City, it is a key part of who we are. We will be working closely with the club to promote the benefits that winning UK City of Culture will bring to the city and beyond.

"We will also showcase that sport is key to Southampton’s cultural make up and will be highlighting and celebrating the essential work that the Club does for our community through the Saints Foundation."