About Us

It's time to shout
about Southampton!

We want to celebrate all that Southampton has to offer, and use this journey to achieve even greater ambitions.

We’re a city of connections, between people, cultures and new ideas.

A maritime city, a meeting point of rivers, a port for a thousand years. But we’re not just a departure point, but a destination, too.

We’re home to people from more than 50 countries.

A young, diverse city of culture, lots of culture; from our world-class music scene, the annual Mela, our theatres, galleries and museums, our sports teams and venues to our festivals of food, music and drama.

We’re a city of crossing paths, chance meetings and inspired moments.

Of two universities welcoming students from over 100 countries. And of world-leading research into cancer science, marine engineering and minds that connected the world through the invention of the worldwide web.

A city of innovation and enterprise.

From ancient waterways built by Franciscan friars and five centuries of shipbuilding, to the making of the Spitfire and a science park that’s a hub of innovation on the south coast.

There’s SO much to be proud of but there’s SO much further we can go. Which is why we’re bidding to be UK City of Culture 2025.

It’s not just a badge or logo or photo opportunity. It’s a real chance to put our city on the map – to change perceptions, showcase our diversity and give a voice to every part of our community. Time and again, being City of Culture has brought big benefits to communities around the UK.

If our bid wins, we’ll attract visitors, enterprise and trade that will boost our own homegrown businesses and cultural organisations, bring in investment and boost opportunities for young people. We’ll get the support we need to tackle the challenges we face, too.


We can’t do it
without you!

Our bid won’t win without your support. So, please, get behind SO25 and help connect our city with a brighter future. We’re proud of our city and it’s time to let the rest of the world know, too.


It’s time to shout about Southampton!

Southampton 2025 Trust

The bid will be overseen and managed by the Southampton 2025 Trust led by Claire Whitaker OBE.

The Team

  • Claire Whitaker

    Bid Director
  • Tom Tyler

    Bid Programme Manager
  • Gemma Nichols

    Commercial & Marketing Director 
  • Cynara Davies

    Programming & Community Engagement Manager
  • Kate Maple

    Programming & Community Engagement Lead
  • Professor Fraser Sturt

    Research and Evaluation Lead 
  • Lucy-Jane Fitzpatrick

    Marketing and Communications Manager
  • Caron Khan

    Partnership Manager
  • Dev Place

    Social Content Assistant
  • Daniel Humphrey

    Assistant Project Manager
  • Aine Rand

    Southampton 2025 City of Culture Bid Assistant
  • Dominic Luff

    Policy & Programme Support Officer
  • Asten Holmes-Elliott

    Programming & Community Engagement Assistant

The Trustees

The trust is an external body with trustees from:

  • Southampton City Council
  • University Of Southampton
  • Solent University
  • Go! Southampton
  • Cllr Satvir Kaur

    Interim Chair of Trust – Southampton City Council
  • Tim Keeping

    Trustee – GO! Southampton
  • Lady Susan Hollick

    Trustee - Independent
  • Professor Julie Hall

    Trustee - Solent University
  • Michael Charlton

    Trustee - Independent
  • Anna-Marie O’Neill

    Trustee - University of Southampton
  • Councillor Daniel Fitzhenry

    Leader of Southampton City Council
  • Sandy Hopkins

    Southampton City Council

The Trustees

The trust is an external body with trustees from:

The trust is an external body with trustees from:

  • Cllr Satvir Kaur

    Interim Chair of Trust – Southampton City Council
  • Tim Keeping

    Trustee – GO! Southampton
  • Lady Susan Hollick

    Trustee - Independent
  • Professor Julie Hall

    Trustee - Solent University
  • Michael Charlton

    Trustee - Independent
  • Anna-Marie O’Neill

    Trustee - University of Southampton
  • Councillor Daniel Fitzhenry

    Leader of Southampton City Council
  • Sandy Hopkins

    Southampton City Council

The trust is taking the lead within Southampton, and they submit the final bid on behalf of the city.

The bid will be overseen and managed by the Southampton 2025 Trust led by Claire Whitaker OBE.


Support the bid by following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe to receive email updates below.