A spokesman said that he had waived his fees and salary this year because of the pandemic, and Alexander Beard, chief executive, had agreed to take a 25 per cent pay cut on his £297,000 salary.
The English National Ballet, the South Bank Centre, the National Gallery, the British Museum and the Tate were all among those sending executives home with more than £200,000 in pay and bonuses, annual returns show.
The Design Museum, with an income of £13.2million in the year to March 31 2020, gave its highest salary of around £175,000 to one of its former directors at the same time as experiencing a cash crisis because of low visitor numbers.
In contrast, the Victoria and Albert Museum – with an income of £117.4million and more than 4 million visitors – paid director Dr Tristram Hunt a salary of around £145,000. However, Dr Hunt’s pay packet was bumped up to around £220,000 when pension contributions and a £20,000 bonus were added.
The Design Museum said it has since appointed Tim Marlow as its new director and CEO, who has voluntarily taken a 25 per cent pay cut from April to October and whose salary for the next accounts will fall into the £150,000 to £160,000 pay bracket.
Smaller charities hit the rich list
Smaller venues also signed off eye-watering wages, with Roger Wright, the director of Britten Pears Arts, which runs two venues on the Suffolk coast, on a higher salary than the boss of the Royal Albert Hall.
Similar disparities were seen at Caudwell Children, a charity with an income of £6.4million and just over 200 staff, which gave chief executive Trudi Beswick a £50,000 pay rise to push her salary into the £350,000-360,000 pay range.
This is more than double the comparatively modest £143,000 salary of Kevin Watkins, chief executive of Save the Children UK, which has an income of more than £300million and more than 6,000 staff and volunteers.
One small charity providing sheltered accommodation was found to have paid its boss more than a quarter of its total £659,000 annual income in the year to March 2020.