A Clearing in the Forest of Possibilities

A number of long-standing ‘urban fallows’ have been identified as fertile grounds in Eastleigh, however, in an unexpected turn of events, they seem to have slipped out of our net. Well, the name ‘Eastleigh’ has evolved from ‘East and ‘Leah’ which in ancient Anglo-Saxon means ‘a clearing in a forest’. So if today, the future is somewhat clouded by fat tree trunks, we are confident that we will soon hit the clearing, which gave Eastleigh its name, and that it will open the jammed horizon! One of our ideas is to commission a series of models to be spread to multiple sites throughout the city.

Model for Ratatosk, by Helen & Hard Architects, 2009, copyright: V&A images

Ratatosk by Helen & Hard architects is part of  V&A 1:1 Architects Build Small Spaces exhibiton. We liked the piece, which is supposed to take you in the space between trees, and found it inspiring whilst we were searching for our clearing.


Eastleigh on Wikipedia
The River Itchen on Wikipedia
Eastleigh Borough on Wikipedia

Eastleigh assets:

– High profile arts venue The Point with residencies for emerging theatre companies
– Possibility of joint project with Artist in Residence scheme at The Point
– Easy and fast access to Southampton Airport

Other characteristics of interest:

– Important industrial heritage, Eastleigh had a major railway industry
–  Site of the Prysmian Cables & Systems plant (formerly Pirelli)
–  Easteigh is on Itchen Navigation, a disused canal now being restored which connects Southampton to Winchester. It once provided an important trading route between the two cities. There were plans to connect it to Basingstoke Canal but this project was never realised.
– Itchen Valley Country Park


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