Southampton’s city centre continues to undergo significant and ambitious transformation.
Southampton’s city centre continues to undergo significant and ambitious transformation. The City Centre Master Plan was launched in 2012 and is a progressive scheme of newly completed, ongoing and potential developments.
The seven ‘Very Important Projects’ (VIPs) identified for redevelopment are now becoming part of the city’s new urban landscape, contributing to the creation of a vibrant and energetic city centre.
A recent Tech Nation report shows that the city’s thriving digital tech industry has increased turnover in this sector by 41% since 2014 and is valued at £2.1 billion. Outside of the seven VIPs, one of the council’s key developments is ‘Network’ co-working space which aims to support this continued growth of the important technology and digital business sectors.
For the first time in Southampton, creative, digital and knowledge-based businesses will have an exciting new space to work in, when the development opens in early 2019. The contemporary open plan floorspace will offer members flexible new shared co-working space, giving entrepreneurs the freedom to work in a collaborative environment.
The Council is making a £1.5 million capital investment in the project. Also, Ellandi, the asset manager of The Marlands and the UK’s leading manager of Community Shopping Centres, is investing to create a new dedicated entrance from Portland Terrace, installing new lifts, and replacing the windows on the 12,500 sq ft second floor.
Network also addresses a change in the profile of retail in many cities in England and Wales, as highlighted by think-tank organisations such as Centre for Cities that point to the need to bolster local economies through diversification. Situating Network in the Marlands shopping centre is an example of the type of initiative that contributes to the re-purposing of city-centre retail space for office, residential and other uses.
Leader of Southampton City Council, councillor Christopher Hammond said: “There is so much to be proud of in Southampton and I am really excited about the contribution that Network will make towards unlocking entrepreneurial talent. It promises to be a really attractive and convenient co-working space that will support and retain local talent and attract entrepreneurs to Southampton, which will benefit everyone locally.”