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Final push for Southampton to Make It SO

10 March 2022

Yesterday the Southampton 2025 Trust launched a film showcasing Southampton’s multi-cultural offering and diverse communities at an event which Championed the Solent’s Creative Industries delivered in partnership with the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership who are official City Partners for Southampton’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2025.

The event was developed in partnership between Solent LEP and Southampton 2025 to shine a spotlight upon the creative industries across the wider Solent region. Giving businesses, young people, start ups and freelance creatives the opportunity to come together, exploring the current economy and the opportunities that are presented for growth. Caroline Norbury MBE, Chief Executive from Creative UK joined the event as a keynote speaker. Speaking alongside Anne-Marie Mountifield, CEO Solent LEP and Claire Whitaker OBE, Bid Director for Southampton 2025, she outlined the impacts of the creative economy to the UK. She also joined a panel discussion which focused on “Our Creative Economy” outlining the opportunities that the Solent has for growth across the sector.

Over 150 people working in the creative sector across the Solent region came together at the event, both in-person and online.

Anne-Marie Mountifield, Chief Executive of the Solent LEP, said: “The Solent is home to a wide range of creative and cultural businesses, with a rich cultural heritage to draw on. We are delighted to have collaborated with Southampton's 2025 City of Culture Bid to bring our creative industries together to celebrate their enormous achievements and explore how to ensure they have the talent and tools to build on their success.

"Southampton's bid for UK City of Culture 2025 is an essential contribution to the post-pandemic recovery of our region, and we are committed to playing our part in boosting a successful cultural sector, with ambitions to establish an environment where the visitor and cultural economy can thrive for the long-term benefit of our communities."

The film was met with a hugely positive reception from creatives across the city and wider region.

Narrated by the celebrated Southampton born poet Issa Loyaan Farrah-Kelly, the evocative film – 2 minutes 18 seconds in duration - was shot in 25 locations across the city. It features more than 40 local people showcasing the city’s assets and truly diverse communities. The film sets the scene of the people of Southampton and is a representation of the city’s pride and passion, evoking why we need to be crowned as UK City of Culture 2025.

Entitled Make it SO, the film is the final part in the Make It SO campaign promoting Southampton’s bid to become the UK’s City of Culture in 2025. Already on the long list of eight, Southampton will learn if it has made the shortlist of four, week beginning Monday 21st of March. The winning city will be announced by the DCMS (Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) towards the end of May.

Bid Director, Claire Whitaker OBE, said: “It was fantastic to see so many of our creative community coming together for our event yesterday which demonstrated the collective strength and ambition across the sector. We are delighted to have worked in partnership with Solent LEP to deliver such an engaging and informative event which has kick started a conversation across the Solent region's creative industries. Caroline Norbury MBE from Creative UK, one of the day's keynote speakers, clearly demonstrated the value of the creative economy and we really appreciated her input and support which fuelled the discussions around growth and opportunities across the region. It was also our pleasure to release our new SO25 bid campaign film at the event with a hope to Make It SO later this year. As we await the decision of the final four shortlisted locations, we wanted to take the opportunity to showcase Southampton showing our real city, our real communities, real people with a real passion and desire to become a deserving UK City of Culture 2025.

You can click here to view the film.

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