Inclusion Pledge

As a key part of our bid to be UK City of Culture In 2025, organisations across Southampton have come together to create a series of meaningful and change-making pledges to demonstrate how they will become more inclusive. The pledges were created through a year-long series of Inclusion workshops launched early in 2021 by Southampton 2025 Trust, in partnership with John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton, as a response to the wider consultation for the UK City of Culture 2025 bid process.

The programme was facilitated by Inclusion consultant, Dr Jan McKenley supported by Ajay Chhabra and started with a workshop inviting local people representing protected characteristics, to help shape subsequent workshops and conversations about inclusion in Southampton.

This was followed by workshops for cultural organisations, city partners and corporate supporters to understand where they are now and how they can make meaningful, actionable pledges to boost inclusivity, diversity and access within their organisations.

The Inclusion pledges are a real commitment to improving access to and equity of opportunity for Southampton’s diverse population, taking into consideration age, class, disability, race, religion or belief, gender and sexual orientation.

You can read our Inclusion Pledge here.

Organisations Involved:

African Activities

Kwame Bajoji-Hume

Being included in the UK City of Culture brings bigger opportunities for us to show, to tell the public what we are about and what we are doing. Because we are doing it more than to say. Action is louder than words.


Laura Read

When we were thinking about our Inclusion pledge, and what should go within it, we started to try and put ourselves in the shoes of some of the members of the Southampton community.

Hampshire Constabulary

Superintendent Simon Dodds

We know that bringing communities together and encouraging investment to drive social and economic regeneration will help reduce crime and make communities safer.

Southampton City Council

Councillor Daniel Fitzhenry

Making sure we bring everyone on the journey is incredibly important to us. We're a rich and diverse city with an awful lot going on.


Louise Govier

Our aim is to break through barriers and develop new ways for children and young people to discover the success, opportunities, and joy creativity and culture can bring to classrooms, communities, and careers.

University of Southampton

Professor Mark E Smith

We can only truly achieve our aspirations if our community reflects the diverse society around us. The Inclusive City Programme is a crucial opportunity for us all.

Solent University

Professor Karen Stanton

We pride ourselves on engaging with all our communities. Widening participation to higher education for students from all walks of life underpins our university mission.