Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Southampton city arts scheme given planning permission

The arts complex in Guildhall Square
Image caption Work is due to begin on the arts complex in 2012

A new £21m arts complex in Southampton has been given planning permission by the city council.

The authority says the 100,000 sq ft arts complex, restaurant and retail centre will create more than 300 jobs.

Developer Grosvenor plans to start work on the site, located on the former Tyrrell and Green department store building, next summer.

It will make up part of the new cultural quarter being created in Southampton.

The area will also include the Mayflower Theatre, the BBC studios, the Sea City museum, art gallery, central library, Southampton Solent University, the Guildhall and the Guildhall Square.

Royston Smith, leader of Southampton City Council, said hundreds of thousands of visitors would come to the new centre.

He said: "Despite the current financial climate, we continue to attract investment and create vital new jobs for our residents."

The project was originally due to be completed in 2008 but was hit by the recession and property slump.

It should now be finished by 2015.

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