UK City of Culture 2025 candidate city Southampton is to undergo a deep clean of its streets and cityscape.
The city’s Business Improvement District (BID) GO! Southampton has partnered up with Southampton City Council in an effort to create a more attractive and enjoyable place to live, work and visit.
The Big City Clean will take place from 11th January until 31st March and will remove some high level graffiti and give a deep clean to the pavements, including gum removal.
The cleaning programme, costing around £90,000, has been part-funded by GO! Southampton, Southampton City Council and the Welcome Back Fund, which provides councils across England with a share of £56 million to support the safe return to high streets and help build back better from the pandemic.
The Big City Clean programme will also include targeted cleaning projects in Woolston, Portswood, Bitterne, Lordshill and Shirley.
Rebecca Handley, operations director of GO! Southampton said: “We’ve been working closely with the Council for quite some time now to start a big clean-up programme – and as the city celebrates making the long list for UK City of Culture 2025, plus with the new year now upon us, it’s the perfect time for a fresh start.
“As the battle continues with the pandemic, we want people to feel as safe as possible, but a deep clean will also strip back the grit and grime to reveal a city that is more welcoming to visit, as well as a more inviting place to live, work and socialise.”
Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Growth at Southampton City Council, Councillor Jeremy Moulton, said the clean would help aid the city's recovery.
He said: “Southampton is one of the foremost retail destinations on the South coast and the cruise capital of Northern Europe, welcoming over two million passengers each year. The Welcome Back fund will help us to give the city a timely spring clean as we look to safely and successfully get ready for the peak season.
“The deep clean activities that we’re going to be able to carry out due to the monies received from the Welcome Back fund will help us to not only support the safe return to high streets and build back better from the pandemic, but will also showcase Southampton in the best possible light for residents, visitors, businesses and potential investors.
“The funding builds on the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund that was allocated to councils in 2020 and forms part of the wider support that is being provided to communities and businesses. While we recognise that COVID is still very much with us, it is also necessary to cautiously plan for the future and ensure that the city centre and district neighbourhoods are clean and inviting places to visit.”