Southampton’s arts culture thrives in the heart of the city thanks to local donation

Barker-Mill Foundation (BMF) has donated a total of £540,182 to the arts sector in Hampshire to help champion and develop arts and culture in the region, with a focus on Southampton. This includes the contribution of £300,000 to the Southampton Cultural Development Trust to help the charity kick-start a brand new chapter in the city’s cultural history.

BMF’s donation has helped start the creation of a new arts complex in Guildhall Square – a new home for the Nuffield Theatre and a cornerstone for Southampton’s culture.  The funding means that they can expand the space and technical facilities available, as well as set up more workshops, involve more schools and introduce more youth groups.

The arts complex will also be home to the John Hansard Gallery, one of Britain’s foremost public contemporary art galleries. The funding from BMF will enable them to develop a new, environmentally controlled space that’s equipped to exhibit works from major international conventions – putting them in the same arena as the National Gallery.

James Gough, Director of the Southampton Cultural Development Trust says: “Thanks to donations like the one from the Barker-Mill Foundation, the city’s cultural heart is really beginning to flourish. The Nuffield Theatre’s youth programme is working at full capacity, so now that we can afford to expand it, we can attract even more distinguished and innovative theatre companies to come to Southampton to perform. The John Hansard Gallery can now develop and expand – bringing a great arts offering to the city

“BMF’s donation not only counts, but is at the forefront of a scheme that will significantly transform Southampton’s arts landscape.”

Funding from BMF covers history, as well as arts and culture in the city as it is also helping to support the refurbishment of God’s House Tower. The project will inject new life into the historic 13th Century form gate house, to create a unique arts and heritage venue in the city’s old town.

Tim Jobling, Trustee at Barker-Mill Foundation says: “We are thrilled to play a large part in the development of Southampton’s arts culture. The expansion of the arts complex is an exciting time for the city and promises a bright future for culture, entertainment and history for the community and beyond.

“We are pleased that our donations to this sector are making a difference and it’s great to see this cultural hub now coming together in Southampton.”

With Major projects like the arts complex development, every contribution is significant – whether from Trusts, local authority or business sector. Every donation counts and BMF’s contribution has helped the Southampton Cultural Development Trust to get their expansion plans off the ground.

For more information on BMF’s contribution to the arts sector, please view the following video regarding their donations to the Southampton arts culture on the home page of the BMF website