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Southbank Centre chief executive Alan Bishop to step down

Alan Bishop. Photo: Tracy de Courcy Ling

Southbank Centre chief executive Alan Bishop has announced he is to retire next year.

Bishop has been chief executive of the London venue for eight years, working alongside artistic director Jude Kelly.

Announcing his departure, Bishop said he was retiring to spend more time with his family.

Southbank chair Susan Gilchrist said the Southbank had flourished under Bishop’s leadership.

She added: “Alan has overseen significant improvements in how the organisation operates and demonstrated an entrepreneurial approach to diversify the centre’s income model, thereby reducing our reliance on public subsidy.”

The Southbank Centre is currently undergoing a major redevelopment of two of its auditoriums – the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Purcell Room – as well as the Hayward Gallery. Bishop oversaw the beginning of the project, which is expected to be completed next year.

Bishop will stay in post until the organisation has appointed a replacement chief executive, for whom the recruitment process has already begun.

Kelly, who has been artistic director since 2006, said: “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. 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.”