Southampton's cultural offering could be a key driver towards its growth in the future according to a new report by leading real estate advisor CBRE.

Over recent weeks, CBRE’s ‘Our Cities’ project has examined what will make a successful city.

Southampton is currently undergoing massive regeneration – the city council's Masterplan, originally outlined in 2012, highlighted seven VIP projects that once completed will transform its city centre and much of the area surrounding it. The key to much of this is the creation of new buildings, hotels, shopping and cultural offering.

The newly opened £30m arts complex that makes up Studio 144 in Guildhall Square demonstrates and the £60m completion of the old fruit and vegetable market have recently been completed and work is underway on the £100m Bargate Quarter.

Cities are usually at the centre of innovation and technological advancement, in part for their own survival as they address the need to invent ways to adapt to the sheer size and complexity of the city as an urban form. Cities also need to have the critical mass to support the highest quality educational offering.

Southampton is no exception to this with its top-class universities and skilled workforce graduates. According to the UK Powerhouse Report, Southampton’s year on year employment growth in H1 2018 was 1.9%, third behind Leeds and in the six years to 2016, high-tech employee numbers grew 25%. Add to this its third place ranking in PwC’s 2018 Good Growth for Cities Index and it’s clear to see that Southampton can compete with other much large cities across the country .

James Brounger, CBRE South Central Regional Managing Director commented:

“Our Cities shows that the future of UK cities will be influenced by an immense range of factors, and the inherent uncertainty of forecasting means that it’s not yet known what the future city entails. This research presents the evidence on a variety of plausible cases.

“Southampton is home to major businesses including P&O, Ordnance Survey, Garmin and B&Q. Its long-term vision has seen dramatic changes already, with the extension of West Quay’s shopping and eating outlets, the 5* Harbour Hotel in Ocean Village and the refurbished Mayflower Theatre. These are just the beginning of what is to come for the city which is seen as a destination in its own right.”