Development team celebrate the topping out of Southampton's new arts complex

Grosvenor Developments (Grosvenor), Southampton City Council and contractor McLaren Construction today celebrated the topping out of Southampton’s new arts complex on Guildhall Square.

27th March 2015

Grosvenor Developments (Grosvenor), Southampton City Council and contractor McLaren Construction today celebrated the topping out of Southampton’s new arts complex on Guildhall Square.

Opening in 2016, the new arts complex will comprise arts facilities for City Eye, the University of Southampton’s John Hansard Gallery and a multi-purpose performing arts building which will include a flexible 435 seat main house theatre, a 136 seat studio, screening facilities, rehearsal and workshop spaces and a café bar and bistro.

It was announced at the topping out event that the arts facilities will be run by Nuffield, Southampton's leading producing theatre company.

Alongside the arts facilities are seven restaurant/retail units and The Guildhall Apartments, 38 stunning new residential apartments, 70% of which have already been reserved.

Commenting on the event, Richard Powell, Executive Director, Grosvenor Developments, said: “The topping out is an important milestone for the new arts complex project and a sign that we are another step closer to completing the scheme and, in turn, delivering the final phase of Southampton’s Cultural Quarter. At Grosvenor, our objective is to create great places for people to live, work, visit and enjoy. We hope that the new arts and leisure facilities will encourage more people to spend time in the Cultural Quarter, making it a vibrant and exciting part of the city.” 

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Phil Pringle, Managing Director, McLaren Construction said: “We are proud to be part of this prestigious project working alongside our client Grosvenor and Southampton City Council, to construct what will be a stunning contemporary arts hub for Southampton and the wider community.  

“It has been a tremendous opportunity for the McLaren Group to reinforce our presence and expertise within the mixed-use sector.”

Councillor Simon Letts, Leader of Southampton City Council said:
“It’s wonderful to see the project get to this stage, it is over 15 years since the first concept was mooted. I look forward to it coming to fruition and completing the latest phase of the City’s Cultural Quarter, as part of our City Centre Master plan. Grosvenor has done a great job in developing a scheme that will meet our aspirations for a distinctive and vibrant City.”

Grosvenor will hand over the arts complex aspect of the scheme to Southampton City Council later in the spring. Following a fit out, the arts complex will open in 2016.

It is anticipated that the first residents at The Guildhall Apartments will move in in autumn 2015, coinciding with the opening of the restaurant/retail aspect.



For more information contact:
Naomi Curtis/Sorrel Basher, Press Office
020 7312 6479/6101

Notes to Editors

Grosvenor Britain & Ireland

Grosvenor Britain & Ireland aims to create value through its skills in place-making and design, repositioning locations in ways that change customer perceptions and deliver results for our stakeholders. We own and develop an exceptional range of properties and locations in Britain and Ireland through two business units: our London estate, responsible for assets across 300 acres of Mayfair and Belgravia, and Grosvenor Developments, responsible for all off-estate activity in Britain and Ireland. Both teams have a common goal: to create great places for people to live, work and visit. As at 31 December 2013, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland had assets under management of £5bn.

McLaren Construction group

McLaren Construction group is one of the UK’s most successful, privately-owned companies that owns and operates divisions in Construction, Property development and investment, and Furniture & Interiors, with a reputation for sustaining long-term relationships with blue-chip customers around the globe. McLaren undertakes projects in both the public and private sectors and delivers contracts to multiple sectors including offices, education, retail, hotel, residential, sports, leisure, manufacturing and distribution sectors. McLaren was awarded Building’s Contractor of the Year 2011, and was the UK’s first company to secure a BREEAM Outstanding rating, for Gazeley’s Blue Planet project. McLaren’s principles are innovation, smart delivery and collaboration, together with a flexible and multi-disciplined approach.

The Cultural Quarter

The Cultural Quarter is one of seven VIP projects for Southampton, as identified within Southampton City Council's 'City Centre Master Plan', which will be developed over the next 20 years, to rejuvenate and promote economic growth within the city. 

Of the £22 million needed for the arts complex part of the project, around 90% is already in place through support from Arts Council England (£7.3m), Southampton City Council (£12.2 m), the University of Southampton, and SEEDA (0.5m).  Culture Southampton, Southampton Cultural Development Trust, an independent charity, is actively fundraising to secure the remaining £2.1 million from grant-making organisations, businesses, and individuals, to ensure success.  For more information on CultureSouthampton see:

More information about the City Centre Master Plan is available here:

More information about the Cultural Quarter is available here:



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