ePetition details

Save the Wool House as a Cultural Hotspot

We the undersigned petition the council to Support and protect the use of the Wool House, as a community resource and focal point for art, music, dance, film, theatre and other culture, accessible to all.

From the summer of 2013 Element Arts transformed disused Grade 1 listed building, into a local cultural hub, where it was enjoyed by countless locals and visitors.

Under the care of Element Arts the Wool House has showcased local artists through installations, exhibitions and performances, put on an eclectic and well attended variety of events, provided a much needed venue for dance, children's activities and other workshops, and also allowed visitors to come and have a tea and cake while enjoying its beautiful and unique architectural features.

Selling the lease to a business such as a bar or restaurant, or such like, as has been considered, would be a short-sighted, failure to serve the public interest. It would fail to recognize the value of local culture to the community, especially during hard economic times. It would also fail to recognize the longer term economic value in promoting and supporting culture, in attracting more people to visit, stay and spend in Southampton.

A local economy is well served by supporting those who live, work and spend in it, and who additionally create and share culture within the local community. Where as providing more revenue to larger businesses, in the case of the leasing of the Wool House, outside of a few low paid jobs, will tend to concentrate more wealth outside of the local community, and without the added value of a more vibrant culture.

Protecting and supporting local and inclusive culture where it takes root, is a public service, and should be done here by the council.

This ePetition ran from 03/12/2013 to 21/01/2014 and has now finished.

414 people signed this ePetition.

Council response

The Council consider the plans to develop a Micro Brewery and Restaurant in the Wool House an innovative and sustainable use of an historic building that has seen a wide variety of uses in its 600 year history. The proposal will see the development of a popular and successful local business and support the local economy. The Dancing Man Brewery is a keen supporter of local musicians and bands, an important part of our creative economy

Element Arts delivered some excellent projects and performances during the summer of 2013, and the City Council recognises the value of the arts and cultural community. To that end it is supporting aSpace to develop Gods House Tower into a creative hub, it has supported the provision of innovation units in the Old Fat Cat in the Cultural Quarter and is heavily investing in the New Arts Complex, due to open in 2016.