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 Managing Director was pleased to announce that the new Director of Development would be in post in January 2020.


·         It was noted that there was a hiatus at the Culture Mile Working Party concerning the proposal to renew funding as Members had misinterpreted that this was a request for new money. The report was subsequently updated prior to submission to the Policy & Resources Committee meeting in December.


·         Members were advised that the Cinema had reached its second highest income ever due to a well-received programme and arthouse films. 


·         Beyond Barbican launched the first edition of Leytonstone Loves Film in September offering a free weekend of over 60 films and was well attended. It was hoped this would become an annual event.


·         It was noted that Culture Mile Nights would launch at the weekend and the Barbican was leading on the programme and communications.


·         Members were advised that despite aiming to develop an ambitious international programme, there had been some recent disappointments including Theatre which was not selling as well as expected, the new Boy Blue production REDD did not reach the anticipated targets or review levels and audience figures for Into the Night were disappointing. This was unusual for the Barbican.


·         An event was held at the Barbican Centre on 4 November celebrating the Creative Learning 10th Anniversary. Two creative commissions were premiered along with a 10 Years in Review publication and screening of a film about the work of the department. The new Strategic Plan for 2019-24 was also unveiled.


·         The M-SET: To the Moon and Back co-commissioned Christmas show for under-fives has nearly sold out and will run in the Pit Theatre from 13-21 December 2019.


·         Spektrix is due to launch in February 2020.


·         The Barbican expression of interest to the Heritage Fund for funding concerning the relocation of the Barbican Architectural Plans collection was successful and a full application is set to go ahead in March 2020.


·         A viewing of the Barbican Archive Mixtape will be shown for Barbican Residents on Sunday 24 November as part of the Barbican Estate’s 50th Anniversary celebrations. It was agreed that a digital version of the Mixtape be circulated to Members.


·         The Director of Operations and Buildings thanked the Board and colleagues for their support, patience and assistance with securing more funding to deal with legacy issues at the Centre. The City Surveyor’s Department were also thanked for their assistance with resourcing issues. Members were advised that management of expectations was difficult, but stability was key to the projects programme.


·         The Chairman highlighted that some sometimes things did not work, and the programme always worked on a risk/reward basis. It was important that the Barbican did not play it safe.  


·         In response to a query regarding the new Everyman Cinema in Broadgate, Members were advised that there had been no impact to the Barbican’s competitive cinema offer.


·         Concerning paper use of programmes, etc, it was noted that a review on programming would take place next week which would include a discussion on the use of paper.



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