UK’s Largest Centre For The Arts: London’s Southbank Centre Calling For Urgent Support, Risks Closure

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As we work toward maintaining the survival of the Arts and Culture sectors in countries across the world – sadly, one of the hardest hit industries due to the pandemic – we see the industry struggling to get the adequate support from governments around the world as global economies are tumbling. 

Unfortunately, the Arts and Culture sector generally struggles to receive the governmental support it needs, let alone during this exceptionally difficult and scary time.

Sadly, we now see one of the UK’s most historic arts and cultural organisations – the London Southbank Centre – in dire straits as they call for urgent financial aid from the government and for the arts and cultural sector in general.

Following its closure on March 17th due to the coronavirus, the organisation made a statement yesterday May 25th, that without assistance their financial reserves will run out by September. They have detailed that this may lead to the organisation closing until at least April 2021 – or in the worst case scenario, going out of business completely by the end of the year without further adequate financial aid from the government due to the severity of the financial pressure they are facing. The organisation has lost 60% of its revenue since the beginning of the pandemic.

For those across the globe: the Southbank Centre in London is a historic cultural complex that lies on the south bank of the River Thames and was established in 1951.

Known as the largest centre for the arts in the UK (previously known as the largest in all of Europe), the London Southbank Centre houses three acclaimed concert halls, including the Royal Festival Hall (as just one of many examples) and stands as one of the country’s most recognisable cultural spaces.

The Southbank Centre typically holds up to a massive 3,500 events each year.

It is with an incredibly heavy heart that we today share further details about the future of the Southbank Centre…we know we are not alone in this and stand with our friends, partners, and colleagues – both here in the UK and abroad – during this time of unprecedented challenge….With eight orchestras, the National Poetry Library, and Arts Council Collection all calling us home, and playing host to over 4.45 million visitors each year, we’re doing all we can to safeguard the Southbank Centre we currently know and love for the years ahead…However, this crisis has hit hard, and we join a number of other organisations and venues in sounding the alarm about the long-term health of UK arts and culture.

Chief Executive, Elaine Bedell

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