Arts Council Invests Further £16.5m in SouthbankDate: 6 May 2008
A year after the Royal Festival Hall reopened following a two-year, £111 million makeover (See Photos, 29 May 2007), Arts Council England (ACE) has today announced an additional package of £16.5 million of Lottery funding for the Southbank Centre overall. The funds - an extension of the existing grant for the major refurbishment of the Centre - will cover final costs of the renovation of the Royal Festival Hall and build on the success of the new artistic programme.
Moira Sinclair, regional executive director for ACE, London, said: "The reopening of the Royal Festival Hall, and the launch of a new programme of produced as well as received work, has revitalised Southbank Centre and firmly established its position as a key arts venue in the capital.
"This additional money will provide Southbank Centre with a firm footing for their ambitious plans for the future. We will be working closely with them to ensure that financial targets are reached and artistic ambitions realised, including through the regularly funded organisations resident at Southbank. We want the Centre to continue to play a major role in the regeneration of the South Bank as a key cultural and leisure destination."
The theatrical focal point of last year’s reopening season was artistic director Jude Kelly’s revival of Carmen Jones. Kelly and her creative team will reunite to present another musical this summer, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 1989 adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, which runs 23 July to 31 August (See News, 26 Mar 2008). Other upcoming programme highlights include the UK premiere of Nono's Prometeo and Massive Attack's Meltdown.
Michael Lynch, Chief Executive of Southbank Centre, said: "We are delighted that Arts Council England has extended its Lottery funding for Southbank Centre. They have been extremely supportive ever since the beginning of this project. This generous investment will enable us to reap the rewards of success and to continue to deliver a world-class, innovative and inspiring artistic programme.
"The award also acknowledges more broadly that, in recent years, the South Bank has become one of the world's most important cultural quarters. With our iconic and accessible venues and our exciting artistic plans, we can make a major contribution to the cultural life of the nation as a whole."
- by Terri Paddock