£40m Cultural Centre Approved For Southampton

After a 14 year battle, planners have finally given the go ahead to build a cultural centre in Southampton.

The £40 million project will be built on the old Tyrell and Green site in Northern Above Bar.

The 100,000 sq ft scheme includes 6 restaurants and 38 flats, alongside the new arts complex which comprises auditoria, studio and creation space for the performing arts, a contemporary art gallery (John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton) and media facilities provided by City Eye, all of which will be arranged around the newly landscaped Guildhall Square.

Planning permission was given last year but new plans were submitted to include an increase in the number of flats to be built.

The plans will now go to a full council meeting in July for final approval and work could start as early as autumn 2013.

Some of the money for the build will come from the City Council and the Arts Council with the rest being provided by the developers, Grosvenor.

Simon Armstrong, project manager at Grosvenor Britain & Ireland said:

"This is excellent news for the scheme and the City. We are moving forward and, after some further exploratory works and more detailed design, expect to start on site with contractors in the autumn."

Councillor Simon Letts, Leader of Southampton City Council said:

"The approval of the planning application for the arts complex moves us closer to delivering the centre piece of the Cultural Quarter.

"I want to see builders on site as soon as possible as we work hard to stimulate the city's cultural and artistic economy.

"It is an example of how the city council continues, under this administration, to work with partners to attract investment to our city and create jobs for local residents."

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