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 Chairman welcomed the new Director of Development to the Board.


·         The Managing Director confirmed that the strategic plan wording had been revised following Member feedback and would be implemented and aligned with the business model.


·         It was noted that the Artistic Director would be focussing on bringing the strategic plan and KPIs forward before leaving the organisation at the end of March. The role would be covered on a freelance basis in April whilst the future of the position was decided.


·         The 2020 annual theme, Inside Out, has begun and featured on Timeout’s Best Things to Do in the World in 2020 article.


·         Members were advised that the finances for the Into the Night exhibition were covered in the business review and the next exhibition, Masculinities, would open in February.


·         The Walthamstow Garden Party was voted as a top green festival and also won a bronze certification for access from Attitude is Everything.


·         The first National Towards a Creative Curriculum Conference on 10 January 2020 was a success hosting 200 delegates and teachers from across the country looking at how to imbed arts in the national curriculum. A key message was “art makes children powerful” and the hashtag #teachingisbeautiful was trending. The next conference will take place in 2022.


·         It was confirmed that Spektrix would go live on 4 February 2020.


·         The Barbican is working in partnership with the LMA on a second bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for submission end of February.


·         It was noted that 100% of the ad hoc fire project list was complete subject to auditing.


·         The Director of Operations and Buildings advised that the capital bids for the Exhibition Halls were successful including a £5m bid for health and safety works.  The risks were being mitigated whilst surveys were being carried out and works would begin in the summer and take approximately 18 months.


·         The Chief Operating & Financial Officer stated that despite shortfall issues, business was robust and income streams were generally strong across the board. With corporate budgets tightening and the increasing lack of resilience of the Barbican’s financial model, changes to the Business Model were necessary for future stability.


·         The Chairman noted the Lord Mayor’s engaging lecture at Gresham College on the theme Trade, Innovation and Culture. Members were pleased that the Lord Mayor had a clear commitment to culture in the City and involved in a number of events which would be crucial to showing the impact and significance of the Culture Mile.


·         The importance of diversity in everything the Barbican does and its benefits on more than a moral basis but as a profitable justification was highlighted with the Member questioning how this could be capitalised using the Roundhouse and the Young Vic as good examples in the industry. Members were advised that the Barbican were involved with both organisations and used networking learning opportunities whilst retaining the Barbican’s unique offer.


·         Members were advised that a steering group had been developed looking at diversity and inclusion which engaged with other groups. It was also noted that the annual equality and inclusion update would come to the Board in July and enforcing this in the workforce remained a key priority.    


·         In response to a query regarding resource to support the exploration of innovative ideas outside of normal business, Members were advised that the Business Review defined the need to build and develop income streams.



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