Southbank Centre could be closed until Spring 2021

Southbank Centre

The Southbank Centre has warned it may be Spring 2021 until it is able to re-open.

The London venue is facing a loss of over £5 million for its current financial year, the BBC reports.


Like all other UK venues, the Southbank Centre has been closed since March when the UK went into lockdown due to the current global health crisis.

It is now planning to cancel events up until at least November.

Chief executive Elaine Bedell said: “We’re doing all we can to safeguard the Southbank Centre we currently know and love for the years ahead.”

In an interview with The Telegraph, Bedell explained: “Spring is the earliest we calculate we could reopen, but in fact we may not be able to do that.

“We may actually have to mothball the Centre. We are not selling tickets for any future events and have shut down our box office, and have offered a refund to all tickets already sold. We’re about to announce that there is no prospect of us reopening in the autumn.”

Rufus Norris, director of the National Theatre, issued a similar bleak outlook in an interview with the Guardian over the weekend.

He said: “Until social distancing can be relaxed, it’s hard to imagine getting back to a place where we can become viable. In terms of the timetable, we’ve plans for September. We’ve plans for January. I’m making plans for April 2021.

“But I have to say the January and the April 2021 plans would involve us going insolvent. Without additional government support 70% of theatres will be boarded by Christmas.”

In the mean time, the National Theatre has launched its National Theatre at Home online initiative, making a number of productions available to stream for free.

The Southbank Centre is also sharing content via its website under its the show must go on(line) banner.

You can show your support by donating to the Southbank centre here and National Theatre here.

Picture credit: Flickr/Paul Hudson

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