Southbank Centre Business Model Case Study

Southbank Centre Business Model Case Study

By Mark Robinson


Learn how Southbank Centre has combined artistic and commercial entrepreneurship to diversify audiences and income streams.

Introducing Southbank Centre

Southbank Centre is one of the largest arts organisations in the UK. It has an annual turnover of more than £40 million and 470 full and part-time staff. It attracts more than 30 million visits a year to its London base and sells over 1 million tickets for performances, exhibitions and events. It is a registered charitable trust with a single corporate trustee, Southbank Centre Limited.

The organisation has its origins in the 1951 Festival of Britain and the creation of the Royal Festival Hall, and subsequently other concert hall and galleryspaces. Organisationally it has a rich pre-history, including elements managed directly by Arts
Council and the former Great London Council.

The current company was formed in 1988, after the abolition of the Greater London Council, to run what had evolved into a set of major concert halls, galleries and collections.

Southbank Centre manages Royal Festival Hall, Hayward Gallery, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room, as well as Saison Poetry Library, the Arts Council Collection and Hayward Touring Exhibitions on behalf of Arts Council England.

It has a long-term lease on a 21-acre site next to the Thames in London. Southbank Centre Limited has two wholly owned subsidiaries, which it holds on behalf of Southbank Centre.

The Southbank Foundation Limited is a dormant registered charity and company limited by guarantee. The other wholly owned subsidiary is Southbank Centre Enterprises Limited, which manages certain commercial activities on the Southbank estate. The financial results of the trading company are integrated into those of the charitable trust.

Innovation in the Business Model

Southbank Centre’s business model is centred on bringing together artistic and commercial entrepreneurship that creates diverse income streams. This combination is central to the
model and demonstrating that it can work well is one of the organisation’s strategic objectives.

Innovation in the business model has been driven by:

  • changes to the artistic offer and visitor experiences created
  • diversifying Revenue Streams
  • changing the Customer Relationships
  • improving and utilising the unique Key Resources of the Southbank Centre

Download the case study to read more:
Southbank Centre Business Model Case Study (PDF)

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Resource type: Case studies | Published: 2016