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"Axis Security stood out for its approach, its solutions and its staff benefits package, all of which are in keeping with the ethos of the Centre."Read the case study...
Southbank Centre
"A competitive package that met all of our criteria and cost implications better than that of any other company." Read the case study...
Sage Gateshead

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About the Southbank Centre

Southbank Centre

Southbank Centre is the UK’s biggest arts centre and one of the largest in the world, occupying a 21-acre site on the South Bank of the Thames. It is home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and the Hayward Gallery, in addition to The Saison Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection. Southbank Centre is open 364 days a year and welcomes more than 22 million visitors annually.

The Challenge

The requirement was for an around-the-clock visible presence both internally and externally throughout the Southbank Centre estate. Additionally, both security officers and gallery assistants were provided at the Hayward Gallery to supervise major exhibitions. The security team are also responsible for manning the control room, the post room and the Goods in/out area, as well as the artists’ entrance and reception, and for conducting pre-concert health and safety and fire checks.

The biggest challenge was to find a balance between providing a welcoming environment for visitors as well as a secure one, since the role is more customer- facing than traditional manned guarding services.

The security officers are the first point of contact for visitors to Southbank Centre, so they need to demonstrate excellent communication skills and a sound knowledge of both the site and the events taking place across each of the venues.


“Axis Security stood out for its approach, its solutions and its staff benefits package, all of which are in keeping with the ethos
of Southbank Centre.”


The Solution

Axis Security was awarded the contract on competitive tender. “Of all the candidates, Axis Security best met the set criteria,” explains Mark Foster, Head of Security for all buildings across the Southbank estate. “Axis Security stood out for its approach, its solutions and its staff benefits package, all of which are in keeping with the ethos of Southbank Centre.

“Since Axis Security came on board, there has been a marked improvement in security across the site, which is regularly commented on by customers, artists and senior managers alike,” he continues. “Axis Security instigated changes including new initiatives to our physical security operation, in order to best meet the needs of the organisation and to keep the security function up to date. It has significantly strengthened the team at contract management level and its proactive and innovative approach has resulted in it becoming a highly valued partner of the Southbank Centre.

“The fact that some of the officers, who had been serving at Southbank Centre for 18 years, responded positively to the change of contractor is testament to the quality of the Axis Security management team,” he concludes.