Southbank Centre Faces Closure Until April 2021, Calls on Government for Aid

By Logan Martell

The Southbank Centre has announced that it is at risk of closure until April 2021, as financial resources run out due to the economic impact of the coronavirus.

The venue is the largest arts and cultural organization in the U.K. and presents over 3500 events yearly to millions of visitors. In a recent statement, the company has projected a best-case scenario where, after using up all its reserves and grants, it will still be at a deficit of over 5 million pounds.

Calling upon the government for support, Southbank Centre has outlined steps towards providing meaningful relief, including the extension of the government’s furlough scheme beyond October for their cultural sector, developing a large-scale intervention plan for the immediate present as well as the future, and support self-employed artists who would not qualify for the existing government aid programs.

Southbank Centre chief executive Elaine Bedell said, “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.”