Grosvenor Britain & Ireland’s archaeological investigations at the site of Southampton’s new arts complex have started on site. The works mark the next stage in the development process and are an important precursor to construction of the new arts complex.
Over the course of five weeks, the archaeologists from Archaeology Southern (part of University College London) will investigate two areas within the northern half of the site, which was formerly home to the Tyrrell & Green department store. Previous archaeological investigations have taken place but this is the first time that Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, who are leading the scheme, have carried out these works.
Simon Armstrong, project manager at Grosvenor Britain & Ireland said: “The archaeological investigation is a key part of our pre-construction activities and an important milestone for the scheme. We are a step closer to delivering the scheme but still have some hurdles to overcome. Southampton has a rich and important archaeological heritage and there is evidence of Iron Age, Bronze Age, Roman and Saxon settlements in the vicinity. The purpose of the excavation is to make sure we do not disturb any archaeological deposits that remain in the ground.”
The earliest evidence of settlements on or near the site of the scheme is the Iron Age and it is believed that a Leper Hospital was built on or near the site in c.1174 that operated until the fourteenth century. Since the 1900s, the site has been used for both residential and retail use until the Tyrrell & Green store closed in 2000. The site stood derelict until it was demolished in 2006.
The new 100,000 sq ft scheme includes 6 restaurants and 38 flats, alongside the new arts complex which comprises auditoria, studio and creation space for the performing arts, a contemporary art gallery (John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton) and media facilities provided by City Eye, all of which will be arranged around the newly landscaped Guildhall Square.
Grosvenor Britain & Ireland and Southampton City Council have been working closely with architects CZWG and Glenn Howells to ensure the delivery of a premium product and enhanced public realm for the Cultural Quarter. The unusual mix of residential, retail and arts space will be seamlessly integrated through outstanding design to cement the complex as a flagship development.
For more information contact:
Naomi Curtis/Sorrel Basher, Press Office
020 7312 6479/6101
Notes to Editors
Grosvenor Britain & Ireland aims to create value through our skills in placemaking anddesign, repositioning locations in ways that change customer perceptions and deliver results for our stakeholders. The core portfolio comprises 300 acres of Mayfair and Belgravia in London, which first came into the Grosvenor family in 1677. Ownership and active management of its London estate remains at the heart of Grosvenor Britain & Ireland’s strategy. Investment assets comprise the largest part of its portfolio. Grosvenor Britain & Ireland also undertakes development across London, and in selected city centres around the UK. As at 31 December 2012, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland had assets under management of £4.8bn.