Meet Our New Local Ambassador – Stacey Heale


19 May, 2022

As the Expert Panel’s final decision on who will win UK City of Culture 2025 draws nearer, a Southampton writer and curator has been announced as the latest local ambassador to support Southampton’s bid.

Stace Heale, who has been a huge presence within the city’s cultural scene over a number of years, and often uses the city’s musical and artistic communities in her writing, is now backing the city’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2025.

Born in Southampton, the city has a special place in Stacey’s heart and she’s passionate about its many different cultures and communities.

Stacey’s husband was Greg Gilbert, the lead singer of Southampton indie band Delays. After Greg’s sad passing in September 2021, Stacey has written about loss, and had many honest conversations surrounding grief and life, while being a huge support to local charities.

Upon become ambassador, Stacey said: “Southampton has a thriving music and cultural scene but that’s not all, it also has pockets of interest right across the city centre and beyond – a tucked away record stall, a quirky music venue or a small art gallery – all displaying its true diversity.

“I used to work in the Fashion department at Solent University and what was great was that it brought together creativity from a number of different cultures across the region, and we had the opportunity to learn from each other.”


Stacey added: “It would be fantastic to see Southampton recognised as UK City of Culture and it would be extremely well-deserved.”

Stacey joins the bid’s increasing cohort of local and national ambassadors including Craig David MBE, Bill Woodrow, Charlotte Edwards CBE, Baroness Floella Benjamin, Jenny Packham, Kate Prince MBE, Lawrie McMenemy MBE, Peter Hull MBE, Don John, Lynda Walton and Zakir Hussian to name just a few. You can watch all the ambassador films here.

Gemma Nichols, Commercial & Marketing Director for Southampton UK City of Culture 2025 said: “Stacey is a prominent name in the city’s cultural scene, and we are delighted to welcome her onboard to champion our bid to become UK City of Culture.”