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Southbank Centre boss Alan Bishop to retire in 2017

London SE1 website team

Alan Bishop has announced that he is to retire next year after eight years as chief executive of Southbank Centre.

Alan Bishop with Kate Hoey MP
Alan Bishop with Kate Hoey MP at the opening of the Jubiloo on the South Bank

Mr Bishop – who succeeded Michael Lynch in 2008 – will remain in post until his successor has been appointed.

"After eight extraordinary years as chief executive of this special place, I am retiring to find out if my family want to spend more time with me," said Alan Bishop.

"It has been a joy and a privilege to work with Jude Kelly and the wonderful team who have brought every part of this site alive with all its festivals for all the arts for all the people. I will miss everyone here enormously and wish them every success for the future."

Susan Gilchrist, chairman of the board of governors, said: "Under Alan Bishop's leadership, Southbank Centre has truly flourished.

Alan has overseen significant improvements in how the organisation operates and demonstrated an entrepreneurial approach in order to diversify the Centre's income model thereby reducing our reliance on public subsidy.

"Alan's dedication to the improvement of the Hayward Gallery and Queen Elizabeth Hall will ensure that part of his legacy will be to have secured these much loved buildings as centres of artistic excellence for generations to come.

"I would like to thank Alan for his tremendous work over the past eight years and wish him every success for the future.

"The governors are delighted that Alan has agreed to remain in post until a successor is found."

Artistic director Jude Kelly added: "Alan and I have enjoyed a special and close working relationship strengthened by our shared belief that great art should be available to the many and not the few.

"One of his many strengths is his understanding and latitude when faced with the unpredictability of the artistic world; in that arena alone he has been the perfect CEO for any artistic director.

"And his commitment and dedication to Southbank Centre has helped to ensure that he leaves the organisation in a resilient position to face the future."

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