A STRONG line-up of businesses has joined the new Gateway Club to support Southampton’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2025.

The club was launched last month to bring business and culture together to back the bid.

It 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 of Culture bid.

Launching its commercial strategy in September 2020, the Southampton 2025 Trust has actively developed relationships with many local businesses and organisations such as toob, Westquay, Solent University and the University of Southampton.

Since the Gateway Club launch, several businesses and organisations have also pledged their commitment to support the economic development of the city. New members and patrons include TW Metals, Testlands, Lee Peck Media, Gleeds, The Orange Rooms, Foot Anstey and Business South.

Gail Thomas, managing director of TW Metals, said: “Full of life and rich in diversity, Southampton is a vibrant and wonderful city, bursting at the seams with cultural activity.

“Growing up locally, I have seen first-hand the exciting changes and developments that Southampton has benefitted from over the years.

“From the arts, theatre, music, sport and so much more, the city has become a hive of activity and historical significance. We’re extremely pleased to be supporting Southampton’s bid to become the UK’s City of Culture for 2025 as a patron of the Gateway Club.

“Southampton is our home, and at the heart of our company, so supporting local business and this initiative is one of our top priorities. We’re so excited to be involved and can’t wait to celebrate Southampton as a city of culture.”

Claire Whitaker, Southampton 2025 UK City of Culture Bid director, said: “We are thrilled with the support received from Southampton’s business community.

“It’s fantastic to see that so many businesses working in collaboration to utilise Southampton’s bid to become UK City of Culture as a springboard for recovery post pandemic.

“Business support is a key component of our bid; I’m looking forward to the Gateway Club developing even further in the coming months.”

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