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Westquay's Laura Read appointed to bolster Southampton 2025 bid

By Kani Talabani
11 January 2022

A new trustee has been announced by Southampton 2025 Trust, the organisation created to deliver the city’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2025.

Laura Read is General Manager of Westquay, a South Coast retail, dining and leisure destination located in the heart of Southampton. Westquay is also a Seasonal Partner of the bid.

Laura brings with her an extensive knowledge of the city region, not least as a board member of Go! Southampton, the Business Improvement District for Southampton City Centre. 

Laura grew up in New Forest and has lived close to the city for most of her life. With a background in licensed retail and hospitality, bringing people together to enjoy experiences in a vibrant and exciting destination is her goal.

Laura said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining the BID as a trustee. It’s vitally important we all step up to the plate to do everything we can to push the BID over the line. I believe my background in retail, leisure and hospitality will be invaluable in ensuring the recognition of ‘everyday culture’ and its place in the BID. As a stakeholder in the city I am very excited about the prospect of Southampton winning the BID. There is no doubt winning the City of Culture will have a transformative effect on the whole city region.”

She added: “Westquay is an influential organisation within the city and will have a significant role to play; we are committed to a full and diverse events programme much of it heavily shaped by culture. I feel we have much to offer.”

Southampton is one of eight cities to have made the long list and the BID's final submission has to be presented to the DMCS (Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport) by the beginning of February 2022. The new chair of the Southampton 2025 BID, Shelina Permalloo, said: “We are thrilled to have Laura on board. Her knowledge of the retail sector is second to none and her experience and enthusiasm will be a real asset.”

To learn more about Southampton UK City of Culture 2025 BID, please visit:

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