Launch of Gateway Club; our new business to business networking platform


8 Mar, 2021

Over eighty representatives from businesses across Southampton this week attended the virtual launch of Gateway Club; our new business-to-business networking platform. During the event many businesses actively pledged their support for the bid through membership of the club. Gateway Club will embody Southampton’s cultural identity, representing its creativity, ambition and unique positioning as a global business gateway to the world. 

Our Bid Director Claire Whitaker OBE commented: “We are really touched by the show of support from Southampton’s business community. Our bid to become UK City of Culture will be a key factor in the post-pandemic recovery of our city. We are passionate about delivering lasting change for Southampton and Gateway Club provides the perfect opportunity for local businesses to play their part.”

Keynote speakers at the launch included Lord Vaizey, former Minister of Culture and Southampton UK City of Culture Ambassador, as well as Nick Parbutt, CEO and Founder of Premier Partner toob; Tim Keeping, Chair of City Partner GO! Southampton and Laura Read, General Manager of Seasonal Partner Westquay. 

Lord Vaizey said: “In my experience of having been involved as a minister with two City of Culture bids, the support of businesses is absolutely vital. Business is at the heart of any City of Culture bid.”

Westquay took the opportunity to announce that they are backing the bid as the first Seasonal Partner with General Manager Laura Read expressing her support for the newly launched Gateway Club: “Gateway Club is a fantastic opportunity for us to network, share ideas and best practice and to really get creative. No business is an island coming out of the pandemic we have a duty to work together and really drive the future of Southampton.”

Membership of Gateway Club will provide businesses with opportunities to network with business leaders, develop influential connections, attend exclusive events and connect with key stakeholders whilst supporting the city’s winning chances to become UK City of Culture 2025. 

If you are interested in becoming a Gateway Club member, please email 

Our Gateway Club logo was designed by Southampton agency, 3 Men2.