This summer, GO! Southampton Business Improvement District (BID) will reconnect the city centre with the sea by installing a 480m2 beach into Southampton’s Guildhall Square. The “Seaside in the Square” will contain a full-size beach volleyball court that will be used for a variety of sports, a stage for live music and a bar. A full programme of free events, from outdoor cinema to beach yoga and sand art will run from 20 July to 22 August.
More than 100 free activity sessions are being organised in collaboration with a range of local businesses and organisations such as Saints Foundation, ParkLives Southampton (Powered by Active Nation), The Gym Group and Decathlon. Daytime sessions during the week will largely be aimed at children, while evening and some of the weekend sessions will be put on for adults. The activities will include:
- Beach soccer
- Beach volleyball
- Foot volley
- Tug of war
- Sand art workshops
- Sand castle competitions
As well as the daytime activities, the BID is working with local venues to put on 15 different live music sessions on the beach stage. Live music on Fridays will appeal to the “after work crowd” with a younger vibe on Saturday nights and laid-back sounds on Sunday afternoon.
In addition to the live music, beach goers will also be able to enjoy free film nights complete with popcorn. Titles to be confirmed soon.
The idea for the beach was developed by GO! Southampton, with the aim of raising Southampton’s profile, increasing footfall into the city and improving flow around it. (A trail of giant deckchairs around the city centre will end at the Seaside in the Square, where there will be plenty of selfie opportunities.) With the opening in February of Nuffield Southampton Theatres’ city site and the opening of the John Hansard gallery this weekend, the beach will add another exciting proposition to the Cultural Quarter.
The project is also intended to enhance the local sense of pride in the city, and to help local people to enjoy their city centre in an unusual way. It is hoped that families, employees in the city and visitors will all visit the beach more than once over its 34-day residency.
More information at http://seasideinthesquare.com/