A petition has been launched to save The Wool House as an arts and cultural space, rather than it being turned into a pub and restaurant.
The Wool House is a 14th century Grade 1 listed building opposite Town Quay (map) on the corner of Bugle Street, originally used, as the name implies, to store wool. Element Arts
opened the space to the public in the summer after the city’s maritime
museum moved, and hosted a series of exhibitions and events “loosely
based around the stories of the building over its 600-year history”.
According to the Daily Echo, the council wants to lease the site commercially, and a deal has been agreed with a brewery which runs the Platform Tavern.
However an online petition has now been created calling on the council to “protect
the use of the Wool House, as a community resource and focal point for
art, music, dance, film, theatre and other culture, accessible to all.”
“Selling the lease to a business such as a bar or
restaurant, or such like, as has been considered, would be a
short-sighted, failure to serve the public interest. It would fail to
recognize the value of local culture to the community, especially during
hard economic times. It would also fail to recognize the longer term
economic value in promoting and supporting culture, in attracting more
people to visit, stay and spend in Southampton,” suggests the epetition,
which is on the city council’s website. It runs until 21/01/2014, and at the time of writing has around 50 signatures.
According to this council guidance, "If a petition contains more than 1,500 signatures it will be debated bythe full Council...".
• The Echo also recently reported on a bid for funding, which, if successful, could see God’s House Tower being used as an arts destination from summer 2015.