BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Monday, 18 February, 2002, 16:11 GMT
Hollick gets South Bank job
South Bank Centre
Lord Hollick will seek to redevelop the South Bank
One of Labour's most influential supporters, Lord Hollick, has taken charge of the biggest arts complex in the country, the South Bank Centre in London.

The media tycoon takes over as chairman of the South Bank Board, the centre's governing body, from Elliott Bernerd, who has resigned due to ill health.

His most pressing task will be to raise the money necessary to upgrade the centre.

The site has been the subject of numerous failed redevelopment schemes over the years.

Lord Hollick
Lord Hollick: Express Newspapers chair between 1998 and 2000

Announcing the appointment, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said Clive Hollick had the skills and qualities necessary to "deliver an outcome of which the nation can be proud".

However, the installation of a prominent Labour supporter in the post was criticised.

Conservative shadow culture spokesman Tim Yeo said he would have expected the Government to "bend over backwards" to avoid being seen to give jobs to a friend.

"This does show total insensitivity to the concerns of the public about cronyism," he said.

London mayor Ken Livingstone accused the culture department of "riding roughshod" over London's democratically elected bodies.

'Missed opportunity'

Mr Livingstone said he had not been consulted, formally or informally, over the options for the the appointment.


The artists, audiences and wider public are poorly served by the buildings, public spaces and infrastructure.

Tessa Jowell
The move was a "missed opportunity" to hand the running of the centre to London government, he said. The centre was run by the former Greater London Council, which Mr Livingstone used to lead, until it was abolished in 1986.

A Department of Culture spokesman insisted it had gone to "great lengths" to ensure the appointment was a fair one.

"We looked at a database of 2,000 people and we had a very strong field of candidates who were considered against the job specifications. The post is unremunerated and there was an independent assessor," he said.

"The department went to great lengths to make this appointment."

'Major challenge'

Between May 1997 and September 1998, Lord Hollick was a special adviser to the secretary of state for trade and industry.

He has also been an adviser to successive leaders of the Labour Party since 1987, and has been a life peer since 1991.

Lord Hollick's wife, Sue, is the chair of London Arts, which is linked to the Arts Council.

South Bank Centre, London
Tessa Jowell says the centre has deteriorated over the years
Ms Jowell said Lord Hollick's first priority would be to appoint a new chief executive.

"I have asked him to report to me within three months of the chief executive taking up the post on his plans for completing the development," she said.

"Realising the potential of the site remains a major challenge.

"The artists, audiences and wider public are poorly served by the buildings, public spaces and infrastructure, which have deteriorated over the last half century."

Lord Hollick said he was "thrilled" at his appointment.

Redevelopment would start with the Royal Festival Hall, he added.

"The board and our key partners must then move quickly to provide great new buildings to fulfil the vision of the South Bank as a world class arts and entertainment centre."

Arts Council chairman Gerry Robinson hailed Lord Hollick's appointment as "wise and timely".

See also:

15 Jan 02 | Entertainment
17 Feb 00 | UK
03 May 01 | Entertainment
26 Mar 01 | Entertainment
02 May 01 | Entertainment
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes