Abri joins the Gateway Club and backs the bid for Southampton to become UK City of Culture 2025


11 Jun, 2021

Southampton 2025 Trust is delighted to announce Abri have joined the Gateway Club, a business membership community created to support Southampton’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2025.

Abri are one of the largest housing providers in the south of England with 35,000 homes across the south and south west of England. Abri’s roots and history date back to 1925 when Swaythling Housing Society was set up by Herbert Collins.

As a lead partner for the Wayfarer Partnership, Abri works collaboratively with 17 partners including Southampton City Council – to deliver affordable housing solutions across the south coast. A large majority of their homes are in Southampton, which is also home to their award-winning Roundabout Café, a safe space that supports and connects people of the city.

Stephen Lodge, Executive Director of Development and Strategic Asset Management, Abri said: “Becoming UK City of Culture 2025 will have huge benefits for the communities of Southampton and we’re delighted to offer our support for the bid. The outcomes would see greater collaboration, increased investment, training and employment, and thriving communities; ultimately leading to healthier and happier lives throughout the city. We know first-hand what the city and its communities are capable of, and we’re excited to play our part in showcasing Southampton’s diverse culture and opportunities through the bid.”

Gemma Nichols, Southampton 2025 UK City of Culture Commercial & Marketing Director added: “Partnerships such as this one with Abri are key to the development of our successful bid. Abri have a deep understanding of the community of Southampton, through pledging their support as a Gateway Club Member this only further extend their commitment to the city. Becoming a Gateway Club member or patron offers businesses the opportunity to show their support throughout the bid year. Business engagement is a vital part of our bid, bringing together the business and cultural sectors, and highlighting the collaborative force for success. We would like to thank the team at Abri for their commitment and look forward to developing our working partnership further across the bid year”

The Gateway Club was launched in April of this year, and has been created by the Trust to bring the worlds of business and culture together, in order to support Southampton’s bid to become UK City of Culture for 2025. The business club model will enable business to connect, create and collaborate against a backdrop of culture. Business support and investment is a key element to the successful delivery of the city’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2025.

To find out more about the Gateway Club please contact partnerships25@southampton.gov.uk