DAILY Echo readers have spoken on why Southampton should be the next City of Culture.

Last week, we asked our readers why the city should be crowned UK City of Culture 2025.

Southampton will be battling it out with a record 20 cities for the title, but bosses have claimed that the scheme is Southampton's moment.

From venues to pubs and outside open spaces, residents put forward their views as to why the area should win and now the Daily Echo has collected nine of the top comments.

Daily Echo: Southampton Mela.Southampton Mela.

1. Rich history of cultures

Southampton's community is made up of a wide range of different cultures with people from all over the world living in the area.

Events such as Southampton Mela, Pride and Let's Rock are just some recent examples of people coming together and enjoying what the city has to offer.

One reader Fred Flynn said the city should win City of Culture "because of our rich history of different cultures and being known as the gateway to the world where so many different cultures have come together.

Daily Echo: Port of Southampton.Port of Southampton.

2. Port

Similarly, Southampton port is one of the most famous aspects of the city, with people travelling to and from the area for centuries.

The Mayflower, Titanic, and now modern cruise liners have all sailed from the area, bringing together people from around the world in the city.

Suzanne Stevens said: "We have a great port , bringing in the biggest liners of the world in the past and the greatest cruise ships now. We are a thriving city that’s only going to get better with our port. I’m proud to say I’m from Southampton."

Daily Echo: Southampton City Art Gallery and Library.Southampton City Art Gallery and Library.

3. Art gallery and museums

Several museums and galleries are on offer to people visiting Southampton to show off the city's rich history.

Solent Sky Museum, SeaCity Museum, Tudor House and Garden, and Southampton City Art Gallery are just some examples of how the areas past is still there to see, for those who are willing to go looking for it.

Readers described the city as having a "strong history" and explained that several of the areas museums are good examples as to why the city is a cultural hub.

Daily Echo: Southampton CommonSouthampton Common

4. Parks and open spaces

There is an abundance of outside areas in the city that are used to host several events throughout each year.

Mayflower Park is used to host the Southampton Boat Show, whilst Southampton Common plays host to Let's Rock Southampton, as well as activities such as Park Run on a regular basis.

Southampton's parks are used for a range of different activities and are full of people on hot summers days, attracting people from across the region into one place.

Daily Echo: The Mayflower Theatre.The Mayflower Theatre.

5. Mayflower Theatre

Originally established in 1928, Mayflower Theatre has come under several names and multiple ownerships over its 93 year history.

As the biggest theatre on the South Coast, the auditorium is made up of 2,270 seats and aims to bring "a diverse range of shows" to the people of Southampton.

One reader, Liz Crouch gave the theatre as a reason as to why the city should win the title, saying: "The Mayflower theatre. Biggest theatre outside London’s West End on the South Coast."

Daily Echo: WestquayWestquay

6. Shops and restaurants

Southampton's shops and restaurants have been a strong example as to what attracts people to the city since lockdown restrictions were eased, with a lot of businesses reporting pre-pandemic levels of trade not long after they were able to reopen.

Areas like Above Bar Street, Bedford Place, Oxford Street and WestQuay are heaving with people on weekends as people come from across the county to shop and eat.

Alison Pope said the city has "plenty of shops and places to eat" and added that she has lived in the area all her life and is "happy".

Daily Echo: The Dancing Man Brewery.The Dancing Man Brewery.

7. Pubs and venues

As well as places to shop and eat, Southampton is also made up of pubs, bars and venues where residents and visitors can get a drink or catch a show.

The O2 Guildhall and the 1865 are just two of the places in the city where lovers of live music flock to and if you're just looking for a drink, there is a range of different pubs to drink at from micro pubs, all the way up to the biggest and most popular watering holes in the area.

Greg Warner-Harris said the city has: "Plenty of city centre grassroots music venues showcasing fresh original music almost every night of the week" whilst others mentioned the Joiners, the Hobbit the Shooting Star and Dancing Man Brewery.

Daily Echo: St Mary's stadium.St Mary's stadium.

8. Sports

Sport is a big part of Southampton with several teams playing in the area including basketball, football and cricket.

Saints bring Premier League football to the city, playing the top teams in the country, whilst some of the best teams and players in the world come to the Ageas Bowl where international and domestic cricket is on show.

Supporters of all different cultures and backgrounds come together as one when the city hosts its many sporting events with residents saying it is one of the main reasons Southampton should get City of Culture.

Daily Echo: Craig David. Photo by: Mark Chilvers.Craig David. Photo by: Mark Chilvers.

9. Musical connections

Last, but not least, Southampton has a strong connection to music with several big names having come from the area.

Craig David famously grew up in the city as well as X Factor winner, Matt Cardle, who was born in Southampton and singer, songwriter, Foxes, aka Louisa Rose Allen, who grew up in the Swaythling and St Denys areas.

Gary Forbes said that the city has an "Emerging music scene" and described the city as "officially the best city in the world" whilst others said the area has a "strong history and great musical connections".