Southbank Centre's Chief Executive at Future Cities Forum


The Chief Executive of the Southbank Centre, Elaine Bedell, will be speaking at Future Cities Forum's cultural regeneration event on 8th April at Goldsmiths' Hall, London.

Elaine was appointed in 2017 and is the first woman Chief Executive of Europe's largest arts centre in its 66 year history. Her appointment alongside Susan Gilchrist as Chair, means that the Southbank Centre is unique among the UK's leading cultural institutions in having an all female leadership team.

Southbank Centre is the UK's largest arts centre, 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 home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery as well as The Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection.

Speaking last year at her appointment, Elaine remembered attending the Ernest Read concerts at the Royal Festival Hall as a schoolchild and later as an adult working for ITV, regularly enjoying the Southbank Centre's performances and events, restaurants and shops.

Restoration of some of the integral buildings at the Southbank Centre has taken place, but there is also work continuing.

Elaine is former Director of Entertainment and Comedy at ITV and Controller of Entertainment at the BBC. She became a BBC producer at the age of 23, making talk shows and documentaries for Radio 4 and eventually a wide range of entertainment shows for television.

She set up her own production company, Watchmaker, then selling this to Chrysalis Group, becoming Managing Director of the newly merged company. Following this, she created the commercial arm of the Royal Shakespeare Company, before returning to the BBC. Elaine was Executive Chair of the Edinburgh International TV Festival for four years.

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