Southampton bids for culture accolade - without Portsmouth

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Leaders are ‘feeling positive’

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Southampton is making a solo attempt to become the UK’s City of Culture - after failing to secure the honour in a joint bid with Portsmouth.

City councillors and MPs are reported to be backing the Southampton Cultural Development Trust as it works on a strategy for a successful challenge.

The aim is to secure Southampton as either UK or the European City of Culture, giving the city’s economy a massive boost.

It is reported that Southampton could make a bid for the 2029 UK title, or perhaps an earlier one.

Former city MP and chairman of the Southampton Cultural Development Trust chairman John Denham - a former Southampton MP - said: ‘I think it gives us a tremendous chance to celebrate all that is really good, we’ve got tremendous assets.’

A joint bid by Portsmouth and Southampton to become the 2017 UK City of Culture ended with the bid failing to make the shortlist and organisers questioning why the cities had applied together.

The title was eventually awarded to Hull.