Culture Southampton

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Trust?
Southampton Cultural Development Trust is an independent, registered charity (Registered Charity No 1139269) set up to: "Advance the public education, enjoyment and access for all to cultural activities in the city of Southampton…, as a key contribution to wellbeing and economic growth." (Excerpt from our Charity Objects as registered on the Charity Commission website).

Who are the Trustees?
The Trustees
are unpaid individuals drawn from the business and arts communities who are advocates for arts and culture in the city.

What is the Trust for?
The Trust has been established as a key driver in Southampton's plans for regeneration through transformational cultural initiatives. Its current priority is to help bring about completion of the Cultural Quarter, primarily completion of the new arts complex, through advocacy and fundraising.

Who is the Trust working with?
The Trust is working closely with arts, heritage, education and business organisations across the city.

The Trust is entirely separate from, but works closely with, Southampton City Council officers and members.

FAQs about the new arts complex

What is the new arts complex scheme?
The new arts complex scheme is a mixed use development on the former Tyrrell & Green Department store site in Above Bar Street, opposite Guildhall Square. Designed by CZWG architects, it will comprise six retail units, 38 new apartments and a new 6,000 sq m arts complex.

The arts complex will include a contemporary art gallery (John HansardGallery - University of Southampton), a film/media organisation (City Eye), plus performing arts facilities including two auditoria, dance studio and education spaces.

Who are the architects?
There are two architects teams involved who both have a great national reputation. CZWG are the architects leading on the overarching development including the shell and core of the arts complex and are well known for their innovative designs for major developments, and Glenn Howells Architects lead on the fit out of the arts complex and are nationally renowned for their designs for complex arts venues. Website links below:

What will the new arts complex scheme do for Southampton?
As a critical element of Southampton’s evolving Cultural Quarter it will assist in raising the profile of the city as a cultural visitor destination, providing over 300 direct jobs, drawing in 750,000 visitors and attracting further investment with associated employment opportunities.

The new arts complex will complete the Cultural Quarter, nurturing confidence and ambition across the city’s arts sector and maintaining the momentum of the city’s renaissance. For more information on Southampton’s Cultural Quarter see here.

What will happen in the new arts complex and who is it for?
Southampton’s new arts complex will be a stunning contemporary arts hub, a place to go and to belong, providing unforgettable experiences for everyone in live arts, visual arts, film and video. It will bring contemporary art, film and video and a wide range of exciting local, national, international and community performance into the heart of the city. It will touch lives through arts attendance, community participation, work with other arts providers, and education at every level. It will house a contemporary art gallery (John Hansard Gallery - University of Southampton), a media/film organisation (City Eye), plus performing arts facilities including 2 auditoria, dance studio and education spaces.

In addition, the broader development will include six retail units, offering a mix of shopping, cafes and restaurants, and 38 new apartments in the heart of the Cultural Quarter.

How is the new arts complex being delivered?
The development will be built by Grosvenor. The arts complex shell will be delivered to the Council ready for fitting out by the Council’s building contractors as part of the mixed use development scheme.

The arts complex fit out will then be undertaken by a Southampton City Council led project and design team. Once launched, an Operating Company will lead the arts complex in liaison with John Hansard Gallery and City Eye and will also manage the performing arts. This operating company is to be selected by spring 2014.

Who is Grosvenor?
Grosvenor is a privately-owned property group, active in some of the world’s most dynamic cities. It has over 300 years experience in creating inspiring places, and a track record in delivering mixed use regeneration schemes. Further details are available on their website:

How has the overall scheme that was granted planning in July 2013 different from previous incarnations?
The design and footprint for the scheme is generally unchanged from that determined in September 2011, other than minor changes to the basement layouts and an increase in the number of residential units from 29 to 38. The increase in residential units has been achieved by reconfiguring the internal area, rather than increasing the footprint of the building.

What is the cost of the new arts complex development and who is paying?
The total cost of the overall build and the arts complex fit out is circa £40m. This can be broken down as:
Southampton City Council -  £12.1m
Arts Council England, SEEDA and University of Southampton - £7.8m
Proposed Fund Raising (via the Cultural Development Trust) - £2.1m
Grosvenor - £18m


What fundraising is still to be done for the arts complex?  
Of the 22 million pounds needed for the arts complex part of the project, around 90% is already in place through support from Arts Council England (£7.3m), Southampton City Council (£12.1m), the University of Southampton, and SEEDA.  CultureSouthampton, Southampton Cultural Development Trust, an independent charity, is actively fundraising to secure the remaining £2.1 million from grant-making organisations, businesses, and individuals, to ensure success. 


What happens if all the £2.1 million is not raised?
SCC is hopeful that the private and not-for-profit sectors will contribute to the arts complex so that there is no further demand on its limited funds which are required for other much-needed projects and services.


What is the time frame for the development?
With the building project now underway, the anticipated timings are:

Arts complex shell handed to the council – by the end of 2014
Retail units open – Early 2015
Residential units completed – mid-2015
Arts complex opens – 2017
Who do I contact if I want to rent a retail /restaurant unit in the scheme?
Kevin Marsh, Savills Southampton, 023 80 713959
or David Muslin, CB Richard Ellis Ltd London 020 7182 2524

Who do I contact if I want to buy a flat in the scheme?
Alan Watts, Savills Southampton, 023 80 713932


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