Cultural Programmes

Southampton Forward is facilitating a city-wide, transformative programme which will see Southampton’s diverse communities lead the change as creators, initiators, drivers and participants. This inclusive, ambitious three-year programme is a partnership approach across all 17 wards, ranging from intimate projects in homes to an annual mass participation, co-created project where everyone in the city, and beyond, can get involved.

Civic Leadership programme

Finding and supporting local creative and cultural leaders in the city to develop their voice, progress careers and enable wide representation within future civic leadership.

EDI workshops

Putting Equity, Inclusion and Diversity at the forefront of our city, organisations will come together to challenge established practice and bring about genuine change through their commitment to inclusion in the city.

Governance training

For everyone working with or within governance roles in arts, cultural and third sector organisations in Southampton that strive for best practice in becoming more equitable, diverse and inclusive. The Project will support those that are service on Boards particularly from underrepresented communities by removing identified barriers and helping our organisations become more diverse and inclusive.


Belonging is a collection of projects taking place from 2024 – 2026 that will  be developed with local communities and individuals to explore what belonging means to Sotonians.

Home Theatre

We are excited to have award-winning Theatre Director Kerry Kyriacos Michael mentoring our talented theatre community to deliver a project called Home Theatre, a project that invites people across the city to share their stories with the world, from the comfort of their own homes. This project will support local theatre producers to grow their expertise and work closely with communities and individuals across the city to create bespoke theatre of hidden stories in intimate spaces and across generations.

Corner shop

During the Covid pandemic, many of us relied on our local corner shops for food and often other support. This project looks at the value of the corner shop in the city, its contribution to British society and connections to immigration. We will be working with local shopkeepers, communities and students to rethink, reimagine and reflect on what the corner shop means to us all.

Pub Culture

At a time when pubs are struggling to survive, what role do these long-standing spaces play in our city? Pubs are unique to the UK and unique as social spaces. Sometimes controversial, sometimes vital to local people, their success is hugely dependent on who runs them and the community that surrounds them. Pub Cultures will be looking at the heritage, traditions and communities of pubs all across the city and bring artists in to work with local pubs and local communities to showcase and discuss what a Southampton pub is.