South Bank chief steps down

Alan Bishop is to retire as chief executive at London's South Bank Centre next year, he has announced.

Bishop, who is 63, succeeded Michael Lynch eight years ago, and in that time with artistic director Jude Kelly has increased the number of visitors to the arts centre  to 5.1m a year, and with his balancing of subsidy, earned income and sponsorship  has been able to offer half  of the South Bank’s activities free of charge. 

He has also overseen the start of the £30m refurbishment of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Hayward Gallery and Purcell Rooms, due to be completed in 2018. 

“Alan and I have enjoyed a special and close working relationship strengthened by our shared belief that great art should be available to the many and not the few” Kelly said. “One of his many strengths is his understanding and latitude when faced with the unpredictability of the artistic world; in that arena alone he has been the perfect CEO for any artistic director. And his commitment and dedication to Southbank Centre has helped to ensure that he leaves the organisation in a resilient position to face the future.”

Bishop will stay until his successor has been chosen.


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