WORK to transform part of Southampton city centre is now underway and residents have said what they would like to see at the new site.

Construction of the new Bargate Quarter is now underway after funding for the £132m scheme to improve the development was completed.


It was previously reported that the new Quarter will provide 519 new homes comprising a mix of studio, one, two and three-bed units, along with 2,515 square metres of ground floor commercial space.

Now, Southampton residents have had their say on what they would like to see in the commercial space.

Indoor market

This was an extremely popular answer, with the majority of people keen for the introduction of a market that boasts a “range of goods.”

One resident said they would love to see an indoor food market that sells fresh fruit, meat, fish, cheeses, flowers, good wines, charcuterie, fresh bread and more.

Another resident said: “Indoor market for local traders, cheese, bread etc, arts and craft space. There's a lot of talent in this area.”


The introduction of an arcade to the Bargate Quarter was another popular answer and something many residents would love to see return to the site.

One resident said: “I think we should have the games arcade back. Again, this was a brilliant childhood experience.”

The Bargate Shopping Centre’s former arcade Sega Park was mentioned, with one resident saying: “That (Sega Park) was epic with the dance mat things and the retro games and money drop games.”

Independent traders

Lots of people would like to see more independent traders in the high street, especially within the new Quarter.

One resident said they would love to see some smaller businesses, and another said they would welcome the introduction of a “handmade, locally made, small business-only market/mall.”

Another resident commented: “Would be nice to see some independent shops opening up, offering some new options. Just don't want to keep seeing more and more food/coffee places or student accommodation.

“Some alternative clothes shops would be nice, shops that don't just follow the chain stores.”

Variety of clothes shops

With the recent loss of the large New Look shop in Westquay, which has been replaced by designer clothing store FLANNELS, it’s no wonder residents are calling for more options in the city centre.

The high street has also lost high street favourite Topshop, and its former premises still remain empty.

Shops that don’t just adhere to current fashion trends is also something residents want to see.

One commenter said: “I'd like to see clothing stores that focus on a choice from gothic, punk, to winter jumpers and slippers, and not just what's current.”

Another said they would like to see “Bershka, more affordable men’s clothing stores, couple outlet stores, and no more restaurants.”

Here’s what else residents had to say:

  • "Home bargains is needed for Southampton."
  • "A bar with a good roof terrace and crazy golf, table tennis etc."
  • "It would be nice if the new shop buildings were made to look retro, and not some concrete boxes. Georgian or Tudor perhaps!"
  • "I think there are enough shops- what about affordable housing, a youth club, a community centre for playgroups OSP lunch groups?"
  • "A shop that sells things that could help with autistic children. Some good sensory toys, ear protectors, calming toys."