Report of the Managing Director.
The Board received a report of the Managing Director providing updates from
the Barbican Directors on their respective areas. The following comments were
· The Managing Director advised Members that a proposal requesting £3.5m had gone to the Policy & Resource Committee but this was considered too high and approved at the lower than the requested amount of £2.5m. A proposal for £2.5m went to the Court of Common Council on 10 January 2019 for approval to fund the next stage of the C4M project and was approved. The Managing Director confirmed that details of the project’s concept designs were made public on 21 January 2019 and the launch has generated significant interest in the media.
· The Managing Director drew Member’s attention to the new method of helping to assess the Corporation’s departments’ business plans due to be introduced as detailed within the report. Under this new method, ‘clusters’ of departments will present their outline plans to relevant Chairmen and Deputy Chairmen for discussion and evaluation. It was noted that the Barbican has been clustered with the Town Clerk’s Cultural Services, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and Open Spaces.
· The Artistic Director advised Members that whilst the Modern Couples exhibition had been a critical success, it had not met its income targets which would provide valuable lessons for future exhibitions.
· The Artistic Director noted a query which was raised at the Risk Committee concerning the mother with dementia in A Family Outing – 20 Years On and her ability to provide informed consent to perform in the performance. She confirmed that dementia awareness training had been undertaken and that a doctor was working with the performance and supporting the mother.
· The Director of Learning & Engagement highlighted the ongoing strengthening relationship between the City of London Corporation and London Borough of Islington with Culture Mile being its core focus.
· It was noted that 2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the Barbican Estate and the Barbican Centre was working in collaboration with the Barbican Association to host a series of talks, seminars and an annual reception for residents to commemorate this milestone.
· Members were advised that the Barbican had received a letter from the Richard Cloudesley School congratulating the Centre on its success pilot working with students with physical disabilities.
· The Barbican’s bid to the Edge Foundation to fund a programme with schools providing fusion learning was successful.
· The Director of Operation thanked the Board for their support on ongoing Barbican projects and advised that there were plans to reinvest back into the building to improve the Barbican Centre as a destination and make it a better place to work and be for staff and audiences.
· It was noted that the Barbican’s alliance with the Guildhall School was strengthening and joint phase 4 works were ongoing to develop an inclusive environment.
· Members were advised that the retail review was in its final stages and a report detailing the outcomes and next steps would come to the March Board meeting.
· Members congratulated the Creative Learning team on raising their profile with successful projects such as the schools under 5 programme and Richard Cloudesley School youth work.
· The Chairman gave personal thanks to the teams involved in managing the late RSC shows that were cancelled at short notice.