Southampton businesses get ready for the great outdoors

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06 April 2021

Southampton’s streets are set to be busy with outdoor dining in April, thanks to the city’s Business Improvement District (BID), and its Southampton Inside Out initiative.

GO! Southampton, the city centre BID, is well underway with its plans and preparations to support local businesses reopening this spring.

One of the BID’s priority projects will be to extend its #SouthamptonInsideOut initiative, working with the council and hospitality businesses to offer opportunities for outdoor dining ahead of reopening in April. Much like the road closure pilot scheme in Bedford Place, the BID will be looking at other areas of the city centre like Guildhall Square as well as utilising ancient moments like Canute’s Palace for outdoor dining and picnic areas.

Southampton Inside Out

A dedicated cleaning team will be working with the council’s team to ensure the city centre is a clean and safe place, ready for when visitors return by continuing to disinfect high contact areas such as benches, fingerposts and ATMs with antiviral spray.

The BID will also be utilising the Visit Southampton channels to implement an exciting reopening campaign providing key safety information and promoting local businesses which are reopening.

Giles Semper, Executive Director at GO! Southampton says, “The last year has been undeniably difficult for everyone in the city and it’s great to finally see a light at the end of the tunnel, but we still have a way to go. Over the last year we have been providing key services to our businesses and shaped our projects in response to the pandemic and we strive to keep this momentum going into the recovery stages this year. Our cleaning, security and marketing services will continue whilst we look forward to exciting new projects that we believe, will make Southampton a safe and exciting place to visit. We can’t wait to welcome residents, workers and visitors back to the city this year.”

Southampton will be also welcoming new businesses to the city, with the likes of Mayflower Studios (MAST) and the return of God’s House Tower, as well as several new restaurants and shops. GO! Southampton hope that the city’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2025 will bring even more businesses and investment. Giles Semper says, “The bid for City of Culture and forthcoming activities will play a critical role in the bounce back of our economy and local businesses. As a City Partner, we are delighted to be working with the City of Culture team on opportunities to celebrate and build upon Southampton’s rich culture.”

The #BENCH public art project is just one of the ways GO! Southampton is working with local partners to spotlight and support the eclectic range of local artistic talent in the city. Read more about the collaborative project with Solent Showcase Gallery and Southampton City Council at

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