Southbank Centre, London


Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre and one of the UK's top five visitor attractions, occupying a 17 acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. Southbank Centre is made up of the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery as well as being home to the National Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection. It is also home to four Resident Orchestras (London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Sinfonietta and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment) and four Associate Orchestras (Aurora Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Chineke! Orchestra and National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain).


We exist to present great cultural experiences that bring people together and we achieve this by providing the space for artists to create and present their best work and by creating a place where as many people as possible can come together to experience bold, unusual and eye-opening work. We want to take people out of the everyday, every day.

Reason for joining GCDN

As an early example of the power of transformation that a cultural district can bring to an area, with our heritage rooted in the 1951 Festival of Britain, we continue to welcome visitors from around the world who want to find out more about our model of operation and how we bring our 17 acre site to life artistically and commercially. We feel we can both offer insight to other member organisations as well as learn from them as more and more cultural districts emerge around the world.


Elaine Bedell

Chief Executive

Chris Denton

Executive Director, Audiences


Created: 1951
Joined GCDN: 2020


London, UK


Dance spaces, Opera, Restaurants, Office space, Theatres, Festivals, Art Galleries, Bars, Library, Public Plazas, Comedy and Live Music, Music Venues, Public Spaces, Concert halls, Co-working spaces, Artist live/work spaces, Residences, Retail, Multipurpose spaces