Spring 2021 reopening plan

As the first stage of reopening is fast approaching on 12th April, GO! Southampton is working on a number of projects and activities that focus on supporting our levy payers out of what we hope we will be our final lockdown. On this page, you will find a summary of current projects as well as future initiatives for 2021. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at info@gosouthampton.co.uk

Greater City Centre Experience

Diverted Giving Scheme

Funded by GO! Southampton the Street Support Network is launching a contactless donation giving scheme, supporting three local charities that provide support to rough sleepers. We aim to have six contactless donation points across the city centre, in which we hope visitors and residents will ‘change the way they give’ and donate to one of the charities. There will also be a dedicated website for donations. This project is set to launch in May

Extra security

From 1 April 2021, we will be increasing our security presence across the BID area to give businesses extra reassurance and support as the city begins to reopen. Our team will be working 10am – 8pm Monday to Saturday and 11am – 5pm on Sunday offering an extra 32 hours a week. If you need to contact our security please call 07725737236. Alternatively, you can sign up to our new radio scheme as part of our newly accredited Southampton Business Crime Partnership, see more here.

The Big City Clean

Working with Southampton City Council, we will be introducing a deep cleaning programme from April to refresh and renew the city centre. Our cleaning team will continue with hotwashing, gum removal and deep cleaning street furniture whilst we look at ways to remove unwanted graffiti and tackle fly tipping.

Public art project

After our city centre bench project, we are now looking at more opportunities to enhance the public realm and bring to life other areas of the city centre whilst supporting local artists.

One of the opportunities includes animating vacant shop windows with vibrant vinyls created by local artists. The first has been installed in the old Argos unit on High Street, created by Nathan Evans.

Better Marketing & Events

Photography project

We have recently launched our photography service which offers consumer-facing levy payers a free half day session with a professional photographer. We understand how important it is, especially for reopening, that businesses a strong bank of professional photos to help market to their customers. If you would like to know more about the service please email Flo at flo.bevis@gosouthampton.co.uk

Visit Southampton marketing campaigns

We are working on a Visit Southampton reopening campaign which aims to reassure and encourage local residents and workers back into the city centre post lockdown. The campaign will be a continuation of the ‘We’ve Missed You SO Much – Welcome Back’ creative and will include key safety messaging as well as highlighting businesses that are open in the city and things to see and do. We ask that businesses help amplify the messaging of this campaign across their own channels, please see the partner toolkit here. In addition to the main creative, we have also produced specifics assets for the businesses opening on 12 April and another set for those opening on 17 May under the ‘SO Open’ design.

Staycation campaign

We are working with a PR agency on a staycation campaign that looks to position Southampton as a regional destination for short stays which is particularly important for the summer when people are looking to go abroad but can’t due to Covid restrictions. The agency is working on securing a number to press trips to the city with a host of journalists as well as writing press releases and answering press calls for regional and national publications. Several press trips are being organised for May-July 2021.

A new urban festival for Southampton

Postponed from 2020, GO! Southampton is working with partners to create a brand new mass-participant event for the city centre. This event will bring together the community through art, music, sports, poetry and much more. We hope to bring you this brand new urban arts festival in the Autumn.

Stronger Business

Southampton Inside Out

Developing on the work we began last year on our Southampton Inside Out project we are exploring new opportunities to open up other spaces in the city centre for outdoor dining. Since February, we have been looking at options for the Guildhall Square area and how we can utilise this space in the best way to support businesses.

We are also continuing to offer support to our levy payers who need help applying for a Pavement Licence/Tables and Chairs Consent via Southampton City Council so they can use the space outside their premise. We can offer help with layout plan drawings and can you link you to the council for help with the overall application.

Bedford Place/Carlton Place road closure pilot scheme

Through our Southampton Inside Out initiative, we have been able to work with the council to implement the road closure pilot scheme in Bedford Place/Carlton place to offer additional outdoor dining for businesses in the area to help with the reduced capacity regulations. We are working hard to get the area ready for reopening on 12 April by adding new planters and festoon lighting. We have also started work on a road painting project in collaboration with Solent Showcase Gallery, Architectural Designer Darren Bray and local artist Amanda Young.

Footfall Cameras

Our footfall camera project is set to launch in late spring/early summer. We are partnering with the council to install cameras into selected areas of the city centre to capture data on footfall. This data will help us find more information on who is coming into the city and inform our future campaigns/projects.

Business Events

Throughout lockdown, we have been hosting virtual business events including business roundtables, Q&A sessions and an exciting virtual exchange event with the port city of Rotterdam. In partnership with the council and with funding from the Department of Health and Social Care, we organised six free half-day Mental Health courses for Southampton business owners. Moving forward, we are looking to reintroduce our quarterly City Networking events with the first to take place in July.

Please check out weekly business bulletins and events calendar for updates. You can also follow us on Twitter for the latest BID information.