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Annual Report 2022/23

A view in sunshine of Barbican's lakeside terrace, with the lake to the left and trees, tables and people alongside it

Welcome to the Barbican's Annual Report for 2022/23. Watch our video above, featuring five staff members who reflect on a successful year and explain in their words what the Barbican means to them. 


Welcome from Tom Sleigh, Chair of the Barbican Board

Looking back on a remarkable year, I am amazed by how the Barbican has brought together audiences, artists and communities through its innovative programme, educational offer, and iconic spaces.

It has been incredible to see our venues packed with people from all over the world, and those closer to home. The Barbican is more than just an iconic architectural landmark; it’s a place for discovery, a refuge for personal reflection, and a rich resource for our local community.

The Barbican is a creative catalyst that sparks possibilities and transformation for artists, audiences, and communities. We have an important role to play in creating and supporting a thriving cultural economy, here in the City, in London, and beyond.  We have helped to drive the nation’s cultural recovery, post-pandemic.

We are supporting the City of London’s Destination City programme, positioning the City as a world-leading destination for UK and global visitors, workers, and residents to enjoy. The Barbican, as we have now passed our 40th birthday, is the jewel in the crown of that programme. I would like to extend my thanks to our CEO Claire Spencer and to the Barbican team for their tireless efforts in making this year so extremely successful. Their talent and commitment is second to none.

The Barbican is a unique place with an unrivalled artistic programme. None of this would be possible without the passion, dedication and talent of the Barbican team and the many artistic, community and funding partners.

I would also like take a moment to thank the City of London Corporation, members of the Barbican Board and Trust, patrons, donors, supporters and members for their ongoing and vital support.


Welcome from Claire Spencer AM, CEO of the Barbican Centre

Welcome to our Annual Report for 2022/23. The year was filled with many incredible moments and our short film features five members of the Barbican team who reflect on an extraordinary year of inspiring and joyful programming.

This film is just a snapshot of the thousands of events we presented and the hundreds of artists, performers and directors we welcomed to the Barbican. During 2022/23, we had the privilege to work on projects with local community groups and showcase some of the most exciting and varied artists from around the world and on our doorstep in London.

Over the past year, we have also been reflecting on our purpose and values – about what it means to be a creative catalyst in London, and how this and our values influence both what we do and how we do it. We aspire to always be inclusive, sustainable, connected, daring and joyful. We have progressed with our important work on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to make the Barbican a place where everyone belongs and an organisation that reflects the diversity of the community we serve. In February 2023, we launched our new EDI Strategy and Action Plan, which is the next chapter of our ongoing work to create sustainable, systemic change – within the Barbican and beyond. 

I’m thrilled that we have also made important strides with our ambitious Barbican Renewal Programme. We are working with a brilliant design team to deliver a sustainable development that will upgrade and revitalise our building, all without adding even an additional square metre to our footprint. We are grateful to the City of London Corporation for the £25 million in funding to start the first phase of Barbican Renewal, which will allow us to both develop our plans and commence early works that will boost both our operational and environmental performance.

As a not-for-profit, we need to raise 60 per cent of our income through ticket sales, venue hire, fundraising, and our commercial activities. We have hosted hundreds of industry events including many graduation ceremonies, the Greater London Authority’s Climate Action Week Launch Event, the BBC’s Women Event, London Fashion Week shows and very excitingly you’ll recognise our Conservatory in Daniel Kaluuya’s new Netflix’s film, The Kitchen, staring British rapper and actor Kano. The success of these events directly supports our arts and learning programmes, enabling more people to experience the transformative power of creativity.

We are incredibly grateful to our founder and principal funder the City of London Corporation, and our donors, patrons and members for their generosity to the Barbican, and to our Board Members and Trustees for their time and commitment. Our sincere thanks goes to our Resident Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and all our other brilliant artistic and community partners.

My final thanks are reserved for the incredible Barbican team whose passion and hard work make all of this possible. Their dedication and commitment to our purpose and values, while supporting our audiences and communities, is inspirational and I am truly grateful to all of them. I look forward to welcoming you to the Barbican soon.

The year in numbers

tickets sold
‘123, 300‘
concessional tickets offered
Artists we worked with
Artists' nationalities
Young Barbican members
Educational programmes
People supported in community projects
Worth of community grants distributed

Financial Summary

Barbican Centre Foyer_Photo by Dion Barrett.jpg

Financial Information 2022/23

Read more about this year's headline financial figures. 

As a not-for-profit, we rely on the generosity of individuals and organisations, including our principal funder the City of London Corporation. Every ticket purchased, donation made, and pound earned supports our arts and learning programme and enables the widest possible range of people to experience the joy of the arts.

People and Partners