Attractions industry news

22 Sep 2014

Skating to victory: Southbank Undercroft saved by boarders

Skateboarders in London’s South Bank Undercroft have won their 17-month battle to keep the space under Queen Elizabeth Hall designated for skateboarding, BMX riding, graffiti and urban activities.

On 18 September, details of a binding agreement between the Long Live Southbank campaign, the Southbank Centre and Lambeth Council were released; meaning that both parties will withdraw from further legal action and the site will remain open, free of charge, for the foreseeable future.

Following the announcement of a £120m redevelopment for the Southbank Centre, the site's masterplan by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCB) encountered fierce resistance, with plans grounding to a halt in February this year.

The Centre’s proposal for a new Festival wing, which would have seen the Undercroft Skatepark moved to a site near Hungerford Bridge, was vastly unpopular, with campaigners gaining support from mayor of London Boris Johnson.

Subsequent to the recent agreement being made, plans can now go ahead for the refurbishment of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery. However, changes to the initial scheme have been made to accommodate the Undercroft, leave it untouched and ensuring its future.

Leader of Lambeth Council, Lib Peck, said: “Shared public space in London is precious and Southbank Centre is a great asset to the country’s cultural life. This agreement is a sensible way of protecting both and we can all now look forward.”

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