We are the champions of London's South Bank, protecting and enhancing this unique area through creativity, collaboration and effective delivery.
South Bank is one of London’s great success stories – an internationally recognised destination that receives nearly 30 million annual visitors and generates over £4bn of economic value each year.
Formed in 1991, South Bank Employers’ Group (SBEG) represents the collective ambition of the area’s leading businesses, cultural and arts organisations, social enterprises, landowners, developers, public agencies and education providers.
We work on behalf of employers and businesses, employees, residents, students and visitors: We set the agenda, facilitate co-operation and deliver programmes that bring improvement and change.
We achieve this by acting as a catalyst, ensuring that South Bank is a desirable destination for culture, business and pleasure; a place that supports and encourages investment and business growth; has a flourishing, healthy and cohesive residential community; is welcoming to visitors and tourists; and is internationally renowned as a clean, safe, friendly, dynamic and diverse area of London.
Read about the history of South Bank and SBEG's role in its development below.
An area in need of development
By the late 1980s London’s South Bank was a bleak and unwelcoming place. Synonymous with urban decay, entrenched social problems – including the infamous “Cardboard City” under the Waterloo gyratory – and inadequate investment from local and central government, the area between Lambeth Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge, and south to St George’s Circus, had an image problem that is scarcely credible today.
Image courtesy of Coin Street Community Builders
South Bank Employers' Group is formed
South Bank Employers' Group is formed by its founding members: Coin Street Community Builders, ITV, BFI, National Theatre, Southbank Centre and Shell UK.
South Bank Marketing Group is formed
Originally known as South Bank Image Group this became one of London’s most successful tourism consortia, promoting South Bank as a visitor destination on a global scale. Establishing and managing the South Bank London destination brand and ensuring that South Bank’s identity as an unrivalled cultural hub is strengthened and supported.
South Bank Partnership and South Bank Forum are created
These new organisations and groups increased the transparency of SBEG's work and strengthened ties with every level of local and national governance while helping to demonstrate and enhance the public, private and community benefits.
The Spine Route work commences
Work begins on improving the 'Spine Route' project, one of SBEG's first capital schemes. This space is made up of Belvedere Road and Upper Ground which separate the riverfront area from the rest of South Bank and Waterloo.
Jubilee Line extension opens
The Jubilee Line extension opens, serving Waterloo Station for the first time and making the area even more connected with the rest of central London.
BFI IMAX built
The BFI IMAX is constructed. It stands at the centre of Waterloo roundabout and is the largest cinema screen in the UK.
The London Eye
The London Eye begins turning for the first time. Its opening launch on NYE 2000 as the 'Millennium Wheel' is met with international acclaim.
Public art project on Sutton Walk
SBEG turned the main route between Waterloo and South Bank from an ugly viaduct into an inspiring gateway using a £1m Arts Council Lottery Fund grant. A back-lit glass image was installed along one side of the walk and a large free-standing mirror monolith on the other after artist Alberto Duman and architects Jamieson Pritchard won an international competition.
Waterloo Job Shop opens its doors
Supporting local residents and businesses to find work and fill vacancies the pioneering Waterloo Job Shop supported community recruitment with a focus on helping long-term unemployed people over age 50 into work, before closing in 2021. Read more.
RV1 Bus runs for the first time
The RV1 Bus, launched by SBEG, ran until 2019, linking South Bank, Bankside and London Bridge with Covent Garden.
Golden Jubilee Bridges are officially opened
Millions of extra visitors each year now use this key thoroughfare to and from the north side of the river.
Urban Design Strategy Published
Commissioned by Coin Street Community Builders the strategy aimed to draw new investment to the area, creating better infrastructure and a significantly improved environment for workers, visitors and residents.
Riverside walkway refurbished
We complete our work on the Riverside Walkway. People from all over the world enjoy this newly renovated walkway as a famed location in which to stroll along the Thames, taking in the unparalleled London skyline.
We completely refurbish the historical 'sturgeon' lamps on the Queen's Walk and install an impressive tree lighting scheme.
South Bank Business Watch launched
Bringing together the heads of security from the major organisations in the neighbourhood to collectively combat crime. Read more.
Waterloo Road lighting
We deliver the renovation of Waterloo Road's lighting scheme.
Graffiti Removal Service
SBEG launches a graffiti removal service for South Bank aimed at improving public spaces and the local environment.
Southbanklondon.com destination website wins Gold at Visit London Awards
South Bank Patrol commences
We fund and deliver this service to deter crime and reduce anti-social behaviour and unlicensed street trading. It also engages with private security teams, the Metropolitan Police and others focused on improving security.
The SBEG InfoBikes win Visit London Award for Best Visitor Information Initiative
The InfoBikes begin their award-winning service to the millions of annual visitors to South Bank, providing a mobile visitor information service including wayfinding and recommendations for what to do in the area.
SBEG spearheads Legible London pilot
Legible London is an easy-to-use signage system that presents information in a range of ways, including maps and directional information, to help people find their way.
South Bank Clean Team launched
The Clean Team perform a huge variety of services around South Bank, including polishing street furniture, weeding and clearing landscaped borders, putting up posters and maintaining signage.
King's College Plaza gets a makeover
We deliver a two-phase scheme with Lambeth Council to turn the space into a pleasant meeting area for students, residents and visitors. The development features energy-efficient lights, new paving, benches, bike racks, recycling and litter bins.
South Bank Venues established
South Bank Venues is conceived and launched to promote South Bank as one of London's top destinations for business tourism and the MICE segment.
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge opens
The £350 million, 15-storey Park Plaza Westminster Bridge starts welcoming guests.
Blackfriars Station reopens
Featuring 4,400 solar panels and entrances on both sides of the Thames.
Riverside London App Launched
We launch the Riverside London App, in collaboration with Better Bankside and Team London Bridge. The app is a What's On guide for events, offers, shopping, eating and drinking along London's Riverside.
South Bank Patrol Wins National Security Excellence Award
Jubilee Gardens re-landscaped
SBEG co-ordinated the £3.5m re-landscaping of Jubilee Gardens from bland open grassland to one of central London’s most used green spaces. We also supported the creation of the Jubilee Gardens Trust, the charitable body responsible for managing and maintaining the revitalised space. Jubilee Gardens was officially re-opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2012.
South Bank Patrol awarded Home Office Merit Award
South Bank Business Improvement District (BID)
SBEG founded South Bank BID and acts as its delivery agent, working with the BID Board and levy payers to achieve a clear vision for South Bank.
South Bank Visitor Management Group Launches New Website oursouthbank.com
South Bank and Waterloo Neighbours founded
SBEG resourced and supported the development of South Bank and Waterloo Neighbours (SoWN) as the neighbourhood forum for the area and helped the development of the Neighbourhood Plan which was voted for by residents and businesses in October 2019.
Met Plus Scheme launched in South Bank
Two extra full-time uniformed police officers are dedicated to patrolling the South Bank under a special agreement with the Metropolitan Police Service. SBEGs security manager deploys the constables, funded by South Bank BID, in response to security issues raised by businesses.
Waterloo station changes
Mayor Sadiq Khan Brings the Night Tube to Waterloo in the year that the station hits 100 million annual passengers, making it the busiest in the UK.
Work commences on the redevelopment of Waterloo International Terminal.
Work commences on Southbank Place, a mixed office, retail and residential development incorporating the existing Shell building.
Westminster Bridge attack
A terrorist attack on Westminster Bridge in March 2017 left four people dead and 50 injured after a man drove a car into pedestrians and fatally stabbed a Police Officer.
SBEG becomes an accredited London Living Wage employer
The UK’s largest light festival came to South Bank for the first time.
2018 South Bank Manifesto
South Bank Partnership launched the 2018 South Bank Manifesto, endorsed by The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, with a shared vision of A Better South Bank for Everyone.
Image credit: Coin Street Community Builders
Accessible South Bank
Launch of the awarding winning Accessible South Bank project designed to make South Bank London's most accessible area.
South Bank BID second term
South Bank BID wins UK record-breaking ballot for its second term - 99% by number and 99% by Rateable Value.
Florence Eshalomi wins the Vauxhall constituency vote in the General Election
Lockdowns started in March 2020. Many businesses closed and people stayed home, but with a leading hospital on South Bank the area never shut down entirely.
South Bank and Waterloo Recovery Plan
South Bank Partnership and its sub-group the South Bank and Waterloo Management Group collaborated on a practical recovery plan to support local businesses. Read more.
Despite ongoing challenges and restrictions many South Bank institutions fully reopen.
Let’s Do London
Advertising campaign launches to drive domestic tourists back to central London.
The extension of this art installation lights up South Banks bridges.
Death of Queen Elizabeth II
The Lying-in-State queue to visit the coffin of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II runs through South Bank for four days, 24 hours a day.
Let’s Do London
Advertising campaign launches to drive international tourists back to central London featuring several South Bank locations.
The Sidings, formerly Waterloo International Eurostar terminal, opens as a new retail and leisure development.
Redevelopment work begins on Elizabeth House
Meet the team behind the South Bank Employers' Group.
Our Board is made up of representatives from each of our member organisations, all with extensive understanding of the unique area that makes up London's South Bank. Our staff team is small but extremely experienced with decades of experience in placemaking and management, and with in-depth knowledge of South Bank.
Become a Member
Join our growing list of partnership organisations in South Bank, Waterloo and Blackfriars committing to improving the area for everyone.