Go! Southampton – the city’s Business Improvement District – has joined forces with Mayflower 400 Southampton, the major anniversary event planned for 2020 to commemorate the sailing by The Pilgrims to the ‘New World’ in America.
The organisation, funded by more than 600 businesses in the city centre, has committed to become a major sponsor of the event. Go! Southampton Chief Executive Giles Semper said, “The programme of activity for the city during 2020 is promising to attract and entertain thousands of international visitors as well as locals, and the city’s business community is keen to play a part in it. We were also particularly keen that our contribution left a visible legacy by way of improving the city’s heritage assets.”
The sponsorship comes a few weeks after law firm Paris Smith LLP was announced as the event’s headline sponsor.
The Mayflower 400 UK national visitor project promises a year long programme of events aiming to attract the descendants and other ancestral tourists to visit England and be a part of the anniversary year. The calendar of events in Southampton will highlight the city’s unique culture and heritage offering, and hopes to encourage a significant increase in visitors particularly from the United States – many of whom were descended from those who sailed from Southampton.
Mayflower 400 Southampton Project manager Jim Zalles of the Southampton Cultural Development Trust said: “The Mayflower 400 commemorations will be a transformational event for Southampton, and we’re pleased Go! Southampton is supporting us on this journey. During 2020, we will be staging world class events and a cultural programme the city and its residents will be proud of, and we’re confident it will be of significant economic value to the business community in the city.”
The core programme for Mayflower 400 Southampton is currently being developed with partners across the city. The programme will be announced early next year alongside opportunities for community and other groups to get involved and to run their own activities to commemorate the anniversary.