Alan Bishop will leave his role as chief executive at Southbank Centre in 2017 after eight years in the job. He joked that he is retiring ‘to find out if my family want to spend more time with me’.
Bishop has overseen a period of artistic and financial success for the London arts complex. Visitor numbers have gone up to 5.1 million a year, while Southbank shows have visited 37 cities around the UK and six continents globally. He also introduced a policy of making at least 50 per cent of its activities free of charge, and led the campaign to restore the Royal Festival Hall pipe organ.
Susan Gilchrist, chairman of the Board of Governors, said: ‘Alan has overseen significant improvements in how the organisation operates and demonstrated an entrepreneurial approach in order to diversify the Centre’s income model thereby reducing our reliance on public subsidy.’
Commented Bishop: ‘It has been a joy and a privilege to work with Jude Kelly and the wonderful team who have brought every part of this site alive with all its festivals for all the arts for all the people.’
Southbank Centre’s latest project is a GBP30m (€33.7m) restoration of Queen Elizabeth Hall, Hayward Gallery and Purcell Room. Bishop will remain in the role until a successor is found.