Statement on the future of Southampton Cultural Development Trust

Southampton is at a critical juncture in the journey to realising its aspirations to be UK City of Culture

Southampton is at a unique and pivotal moment in its history with a number of strategic projects coming to fruition and the city’s profile growing as an emerging city of opportunity. Over the last four years Southampton Cultural Development Trust (SCDT) has successfully delivered on their ambitions to be a facilitator for conversation, debate, and cohesion; brokering relationships in the city; bringing stakeholders together in a unified approach; and to raise ambitions such that the city is in a better position to bid for UK City of Culture. In light of Southampton’s ambitions around UK City of Culture and strategic global positioning, partners recognise that Southampton is at a critical juncture in the journey to realising its aspirations.

In April 2019, Southampton City Council (SCC) with Arts Council England, Solent University, the University of Southampton and Go! Southampton, decided to cease funding Southampton Cultural Development Trust in favour of plans for an alternative delivery vehicle. Building on the work carried out by the Trust, this new vehicle is envisaged to take Southampton forward into the next phase of its transformation enabling the city to achieve our continued city-wide vision and collective approach.

SCC is currently working on plans to transition previous SCDT led activities from their current arrangements and will announce these when these have been approved and confirmed. In the immediate term, the Mayflower 400 programme will be led by Southampton City Council and continue to be supported by city-wide partners including both Universities and Go! Southampton. The Cultural City Conference will go ahead as planned.