The South Bank Centre is forecasting a minimum loss of £5.1m by the end of the financial year next April
Londons Southbank Centre, the UKs largest arts and cultural organisation, today announced that it may have to close until April next year or even later because of the crippling financial pressure it is facing from the coronavirus crisis. The arts centre includes the Hayward Gallery, as well as concert halls.
Following its closure on 17 March, the South Bank Centre is forecasting a minimum loss of £5.1m by the end of the financial year next April. This figure has been arrived at after using up its reserves, its Arts Council England grant and £4m from the governments furlough scheme for its staff.
The Southbanks Arts Council grant represents only 37% of its income, with the remainder self-generated. Much of this comes from ticket sales, catering and other commercial activity. The closure of the venues, bars and restaurants has led to an immediate and catastrophic loss of 60% of its income.
With social-distancing measures likely to remain for months, the venues are unlikely to reopen before April 2021, since restricted capacities with 30% of the normal visitor numbers means that the Southbank would lose more money by opening than it would generate.
The Southbank is therefore calling for urgent government support. It has three proposals: extending the furlough scheme beyond October for the cultural sector; large-scale government intervention to support the arts sector in the crisis; and helping self-employed artists and musicians who do not qualify under the current financial schemes.
The Southbank Centre is not the only UK arts institution calling for more government support. Last week, Peter MandRead More – Source