Agenda item

Management Report by the Centre's Directors

Report of the Managing Director.


Members received a report of the Managing Director providing updates from the Barbican Directors on their respective areas. The following comments were made:


·         The Art Gallery and Conservatory had reopened to the public receiving 5,149 visitors. The Barbican Library reopened on Monday receiving 354 visitors.


·         The Manging Director confirmed that whilst a thriving Centre remained the aim, there was a need to manage the speed and degree of return and a phased pattern was needed to ensure safety in line with Government guidelines.


·         Developing the digital offer has remained pivotal and cinema on demand had now launched requiring cross-team working.


·         The Creative Learning programme has moved into a blended model with improved digital content and strong Partner collaboration.


·         The Barbican and Guildhall School jointly hosted an online workshop around ‘Civic Conservatoire / Civic Urbanism’ following the cancelled joint Board away day in March. The Town Clerk agreed to circulate the workshop recording to Members. The Deputy Chairman stated that the civic workshop was very inspiring and pitched for more workshops.


·         It was noted that a workshop would take place tomorrow looking at how the Centre could refresh and progress thinking on technology which would include a range of staff inputting.


·         Members were informed that the aim remained to create an environment that enables and inspires, and the management alliance continued to ensure this was delivered in a compliant, appropriate and efficient way.


·         The Director of Operations and Buildings thanked the engineers and operational staff for their continued hard work throughout the building which ensured the reopening of the Barbican. Local residents were also thanked for their patience whilst works continued. The Chair echoed this thanks and appreciation on behalf of the Board and was happy that visitors were returning to the Centre.


·         The Managing Director stated that the closure of the Centre had meant a significant loss of income and opportunity, but new opportunities were being explored following the gradual reopening. It was acknowledged that Board networks and sponsorship from all avenues were invaluable, e.g. a Partner sponsored concert would take place in the Halls in autumn, and advice was encouraged to help develop growth. Large funding applications and funding opportunities were currently on hold or had been turned down which was also a huge impact on the Centre.


·         The Managing Director voiced gratitude to the City Corporation for their support ensuring continuity and acknowledged that the Barbican was not in the same position as other Arts Organisations due to this support.


·         A Member highlighted the importance of supporting the Arts at this difficult time and enquired if many people had refused refunds. Members were advised that the Centre and its events programme was complex and therefore there was no straightforward donation option for the first wave of refunds. It was hoped there would be more donations in the second wave of refunds.


·         A Member asked that finances be considered from the perspective of the Barbican as an employer and provider of opportunities for artists and freelancers. The Centre had an important role in the UK for the artistic community and these responsibilities should be considered as well as financial implications.   


RESOLVED – That Members endorse Management’s approach to the future activities of the Centre.

Supporting documents: