Meet our City Partner, GO! Southampton

Giles Semper
Giles Semper

We are delighted to have the support of our City Partner, GO! Southampton. We caught up with Executive Director, Giles Semper, to hear about what Southampton means to him and why GO! Southampton are backing the bid.

What are your links to Southampton?

I am Executive Director of the GO! Southampton Business Improvement District (BID). This is a not-for-profit company owned, led and funded by 600+ businesses in Southampton City Centre.

Do you have a Southampton hidden gem or top tip?

As a jazz fan I have a soft spot for Turner Sims Concert Hall at University of Southampton. For me it is as near to perfect as a venue can get – top acts, good acoustics, good bar and a very knowledgeable audience.

What does culture mean for you?

Creative self-expression.

Can you describe Southampton in three words?

Industrial, Green, Unfulfilled.

As a local business why have you committed to the bid?

The bid can deliver success to our member businesses in the way of increased visitor numbers and a higher-quality city centre.

What benefit do you hope to see for your organisation, employees or customers?

The bid offers a chance for the city’s workers to fall in love with a place that is often seen just as a convenience destination.

How do you think that UK City of Culture will impact Southampton and the wider region long term?

The impact could be profound. Once the perception of the city has changed for the better, I hope it will be difficult to go back.

Would you urge other businesses to back the bid and why?

The bid is strong enough to deliver real brand value to participating businesses. There will also be lots of chances for employees to get involved.