Our People

People are at the heart of our bid to become UK City of Culture 2025.

Drawn from different parts of the city (and some from further afield), they represent the diverse voices and cultures of our welcoming and inclusive city.

Kristianne Drake

“When I think of culture in Southampton, there’s house shows, poetry, mosaics on walls, skateboarders in Guildhall Square, big gigs in tiny little spaces, artisan bakers, small exhibition spaces with work made by young people and the community hanging on the walls. There’s just so much; it’s just endless really”.

Jayanti Shah MBE

“Southampton was an entry port for all international travellers including cruise ships, including ships which came from Caribbean in 1950s, so Southampton has been a staging post for people coming from around the world; and that brings with it its challenges but also brings with it the richness of cultural, richness of food, richness of life, richness of religious practices and traditions”

Bill Woodrow

For me, culture is an exchange of ideas. Culture doesn't exist with one person. It has to have people and places for that to happen.

Charlotte Edwards CBE

I absolutely fell in love with the city. I think Southampton has an amazing chance of winning this bid; it's a young, diverse, vibrant city with so much to offer.⁠

Baroness Floella Benjamin, DBE DL

I arrived in England by ship on the 1st September 1960 as an excited 10 year old and the first place I saw through the cabin porthole was Southampton. Many Caribbeans, now known as ‘The Windrush Generation' settled there and made it their home.

The city is and has always has been a place that has evolved and absorbed different cultures which has created a rich tapestry of diversity that inspires young people to reach their full potential. I feel certain Southampton will continue to do so long into the future, for generations to come.

Shelina Permalloo


The bid will provide the opportunity Southampton really needs in terms of reaching hard-to-reach, diverse groups.