We might not get to visit the Southbank Centre again for a little longer than expected.
The Southbank Centre, Britain’s largest arts and cultural organisation, has stated it will need to close until Spring 2021 if it does not recieve more government support. It warned that their cash reserves will be used up by September.
Southbank Centre revealed that a bleak best-case scenario would be a £5 million loss at the end of this financial year. This would be despite using all reserves as well as £4 million from the furlough scheme and it’s annual £19.2 million grant from Arts Council England. They said these costs “effectively mothball the buildings”.
The centre, which puts on around 3,500 events each year, said: “There will be hardly any artistic activity throughout 2020/21, as to present anything like a normal range of events would have seen the losses rise to around £11m.”
Even if events were permitted, finances would still take a huge hit due to restrictive measures in place. The Southbank Centre gets 37% of its income from subsidy schemes. Ticket sales, bar, cafe and restaurant income, and money from events such as conferences and graduations make up the remaining earnings.
It comes in the midst of a general panic in the arts industry over its future. Last week it was announced a group led by philanthropist Neil Mendoza would advise on how the sector can set out on the road to recovery.
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