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Southampton City Council

Archived: City of Culture Bid Director

The city of Southampton is searching for an experienced and talented Bid Director to lead and deliver our successful application to become UK City of Culture in 2025.

We are an ambitious and diverse city with a vibrant cultural sector and history of partnership working. Now we need an energetic, collaborative and inspiring individual to bring Southampton together to create a world-beating offer.

If you have an excellent track record of engaging and bringing multiple stakeholders together to deliver an ambitious programme of work, then we want to hear from you!

The new role will be hosted by Southampton City Council and will report to a supportive Bid Partnership Steering Group, including the University of Southampton, Solent University, Go! Southampton Business Improvement District and other partners. The successful candidate will build on established partnerships and develop new relationships to engage and consult with stakeholders from all sectors in the city, co-creating a compelling vision and narrative for Southampton’s City of Culture 2025 bid.

This builds on significant investment in the cultural infrastructure of the city, including the opening in 2018 of the new Cultural Quarter and purpose-built venue for visual art, theatre and film, housing City Eye, John Hansard Gallery, Nuffield Southampton Theatres and ZoieLogic Dance Theatre. These join the established Mayflower Theatre, City Art Gallery, SeaCity Museum, O2 Guildhall, as well as others such as Turner Sims Southampton and the freshly opened God’s House Tower. Southampton’s thriving cultural scene includes ArtAsia, ‘a-space’ arts, Artful Scribe, Artswork, Black History Month – Southampton, SoCoMusic, SON, Southampton Heritage Federation, Solent Sky Museum, SS Shieldhall, Tudor House & Garden, Maritime Archaeology Trust and many other local organisations involved in creating cultural activity.

The port of Southampton has welcomed visitors from across the world for hundreds of years. The city has a proud cultural history which has been shaped over the centuries by international trade and the movement of people, making it rich with transnational stories and influence. Today, as the cruise capital of northern Europe and with a busy international airport, Southampton continues to welcome over four million visitors from across the world every year.

The successful candidate will have a strong track record of fundraising, bid writing and influencing at local, regional and national levels – ideally in a similar bid-leading role. In addition you will be able to evidence:

  • Extensive knowledge and experience of the cultural sector
  • An understanding of culture’s potential for driving lasting social and economic change
  • Significant experience of leading multi-stakeholder partnerships
  • Managing relationships with senior stakeholders from business, government, creative organisations and elected officials
  • Securing income and negotiating deals

This is an incredible opportunity to help shape the future of the south coast’s largest city. Not only will you have an incredible pool of cultural talent available to support the bid, you’ll get to experience a vibrant and thriving city while you do it.

For further information about this role please view the job description.

If you feel you have the necessary background, experience and skills to undertake this role we would like to hear from you.

For further information and details regarding the position please contact Denise Edghill, on 023 8083 4095

Additional information:
This post requires a Standard DBS check.
Please note the salary quoted is based on full time hours (37 hours).
This post is a 2 year fixed term post.
It is usual for successful candidates to start at the bottom of the pay grade

To be considered for this post please submit an online application through our website:

The supporting statement section of the application form must be completed. Unless there are specific criteria questions for you to evidence against, you will need to detail how you meet the essential, and if applicable the desirable criteria for the role. A CV on its own will not be considered. var ClickMeter_pixel_url = ‘//’;