Studio 144 opens in Southampton 15 years after first plans

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Studio 144 complex
Image caption,
Artists performed at the launch event in front of the £30m complex

A £30m theatre and arts complex in Southampton has opened 15 years after it was originally proposed.

Plans to open an arts venue in 2008 on the site of the former Tyrrell and Green building in Guildhall Square were first published in 2003.

Southampton City Council said the scheme was put on hold due to central government cuts and a property slump.

Artists performed at a launch event for the two-building complex in the city's new so-called "cultural quarter".

Image caption,
The NST City theatre is one of two buildings in the Studio 144 development

The Studio 144 complex includes the 450-seat NST City theatre which features screening facilities as well as rehearsal and workshop spaces.

A second building hosts the John Hansard Gallery and the City Eye community film organisation.

Councillor Satvir Kaur, cabinet member for culture, said the venue would be "great for economic development" and "create hundreds of jobs".

"It is worth remembering that this has taken almost two decades, so the money hasn't just come now," she added.

NST City theatre director Samuel Hodges said he hoped the new complex would make Southampton "one of the major cultural players on the national map".

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