Launch day of Southampton's UK City of Culture bid
Southampton 2025 waves design

We are Southampton

We are a city on two rivers, Itchen and Test. We have been a major port since 1066. Our majestic city walls stand strong over 600 years on. The Titanic set sail here, and most of her crew lived here. This was the birthplace of the Spitfire. Our beautiful city was battered and bruised by the blitz. But we got back up again. We are a city of diversity where all are welcome. We are a city of culture, lots of culture; a city of music, sport, dance, food, heritage, art and theatre. We are leading the way testing and piloting responses to coronavirus. We are not without our challenges, but as a city we will overcome them together. We are home to the mighty Saints and we march on together.

Welcome to our Southampton.

Diverse city

We are just over 250,000 beautiful, interesting individuals. We are a city made up of people from over 60 different countries.

Top universities

In our city of learning, two universities host over 40,000 students. Leading research and teaching are always happening.

Bustling port

Ships leave from here,

ships sail to here.
17 quayside cranes lift containers 24/7 here. 

Green spaces

We are proud of our great parks and open spaces. These are enjoyed by everyone, filled with running and sports.

About us

Southampton is bidding to become the UK City of Culture in 2025, this is a huge opportunity for the city to celebrate the wealth of cultural activity already taking place, showcase the city’s diversity and use these to address some of the challenges the city is facing. This is about celebrating what this city has and using the journey to achieve our ambitions as a city.


Southampton is a city of more than a quarter of a million people and has two universities, it is home to Southampton Football Club a Premier League team and is a destination city for shopping in the region. Southampton is a very busy cruise and commercial port with millions of people and containers travelling through each year.

Aerial view over Southampton

"The programme we will shape together will transform the profile and the prosperity of Southampton and use the power of culture to ensure we reach our full potential.
The people of Southampton are at the heart of this bid and we will work together to make a real difference to all. There is such a rich variety of culture in the city that it is the natural focus of a bid. I am proud to be leading this bid and am looking forward to an exciting programme which will achieve a great deal and leave a positive legacy for the city


—  Claire Whitaker OBE, bid director for Southampton 2025 UK City of Culture

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