Stronger Business

The Stronger Business Theme Group is chaired by Tim Keeping, Managing Director of the Marlands Shopping Centre. The BID team member in charge of delivery is Giles Semper (Acting CEO). The 4 core aims of the group are:

1. Achieve Better Economies of Scale
We will secure savings for businesses and increase business-to-business activity. Our 2,500 City Centre businesses span the spectrum of sizes and sectors. We will encourage B2B interaction so that spend is retained within the city. We will encourage sharing of local expertise and innovation. We will also seek opportunities to develop joint procurement arrangements, for example in waste management and energy.

2. Provide a Better Voice for Business
We will be the advocates for businesses in the city centre, both in addressing day-to-day issues and influencing new developments. We will monitor routine services being delivered in the City Centre and report or directly address shortcomings as necessary. Furthermore, the City of Southampton has an extensive programme of forthcoming major developments. We will crystallise and present business views to decision makers to influence the way the city develops. We will make sure that businesses are always kept informed.

3. Developing and Retaining Skills & Talent
We will work with education and skills providers to help deliver a more skilled and committed workforce. The city work force needs to be more aligned to the needs of city centre employers. We will be the face of city centre business to schools, FE colleges and the universities to create better opportunities for employers and prospective employees. We will promote apprenticeships, internships and efforts to increase graduate retention. We will also look to nurture new and start-up businesses in the city centre by signposting them to relevant services.

4. Investment Opportunities
We will actively support new investment in the city and ensure that our status as a commercial centre of regional, national and international importance is recognised and promoted. Southampton has a catalogue of outstanding opportunities for future investment. We will work with landowners and the City Council to market these opportunities and to increase the critical mass of commercial activity in the city centre.

To find our more about the concrete actions and projects of this group, please refer to the business plan or contact Giles Semper at

Projects & Achievements

September 2019 – Future High Streets Fund – GO! Southampton have now reached the second round of the Government’s Future High Street Fund, following a successful bid in partnership with Southampton City Council. Southampton now joins a list of 99 other towns and cities to now progress forward for a share of the £1billion fund.

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September 2019 – toob Partnership – GO! Southampton are pleased to announce the first of our offical commerical partner is internet service provider toob, to help boost its £50m rollour of a new full fubre network in the city. 

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May 2019 –  The Big Issue – GO! Southampton worked with The Big Issue and Saints Foundation to give 12 Year 9 students from city schools a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create the content for an issue of the magazine. 

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May 2019 – Volunteer Scheme – To coincide with Volunteer Week, GO! Southampton announced the news that a new city volunteering programme is set to launch, in collaboration with a number of city stakeholders. This opportunity will enable local businesses and residents alike to give something back to the local community

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June 2019 – City Networking – In summer 2019, GO! Southampton launched its quarterly ‘City Networking’ event. Held on the first Thursdays of June, September and December, these events bring together civic, community, religious and business leaders from throughout the city and aim to build and strong foundation for Southampton’s City of Culture bid.  

February 2019 –  Partneship to book city prosperity – Directors of the two business-led organisations have signed a memorandum setting out how they will strengthen co-operation on behalf of their respective members.

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February 2018 – Group Procurement Project Launched – GO! Southampton launched its National BIDs Buying Service, delivered by Meercat Associates, to help cut operating costs in levy payers businesses. By harnessing the buying power of all BID members, we can negotiate better rates on a host of essential utilities and services.

September 2017 – City Representation – Secured city representation on key city centre influence groups such as Southampton Connect, the City Centre Communications Group and the Destination Management Strategy Group.

Other Links:

Mid-term Review 

GO! Southampton Year 4 Business Plan

GO! Southampton Year 3 Business Plan

GO! Southampton Year 2 Business Plan

Greater City Centre Experience

Better Marketing