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January 23, 2014

Work starts on new arts complex in Southampton, UK

Construction work has started on Southampton's £40m city centre arts complex project in the UK, which comprises of a new arts complex, seven retail units and 38 apartments.

By SantoshKumar Dronamraju

Southampton

UK-based developer McLaren Construction is responsible for the overall development, while Capita is providing project management, CDMC and surveying services on the site.

The new arts complex, which is expected to open in 2016, will house community film company City Eye, the University of Southampton’s John Hansard Gallery, a multi-purpose performing arts centre with two flexible performance spaces, and a dance studio.

Located adjacent to Capita’s regional business centre in the city, the project is being undertaken by Grosvenor Developments and Southampton City Council.

The 6,000m² centre will have two inter-linked buildings, framing Guildhall Square with cafés and shops at street level.

The scheme would create more than 300 jobs and bring 750,000 visitors to the city every year.

As part of its National Lottery-funded capital programme, the project has already bagged £7.3m of funding from Arts Council England.

Southampton City Council leader and councillor Simon Letts said the complex will provide residents and visitors with a world-class facility and help to establish Southampton as a leading cultural centre.

"I am really pleased to see work start on one of the seven VIP projects in our city centre master plan, which aims to bring 24,000 new jobs, 5,000 new homes and £3bn of investment into the city by 2030," Letts said.

Arts Council England South West area director Phil Gibby said: "This complex will mean that everyone in Southampton has access to high-quality arts opportunities right in the heart of their city and can only strengthen the contribution cultural organisations already make to the local economy."


Image: The new arts complex will be part of a development, which will include residential apartments, shops, cafes and restaurants. Photo: courtesy of Capita plc.

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