[Photo: Rafa Esteve]
It’s taken three months of discussion, but we’ve finally got good news for the skaters, BMXers and graffiti artists of the South Bank.
The iconic Queen Elizabeth Hall Undercroft – an epicentre of skate culture since the ’70s – is now protected under a planning agreement with Lambeth Council.
The Southbank Centre had previously revealed plans to turn the undercroft into retail units as part of a £120 million ‘Festival Wing’ redevelopment of the complex, but the new agreement means that the plans can no longer go ahead.
Alan Bishop, chief executive of Southbank Centre, says: ‘When we launched our Festival Wing plans, we emphasised that skateboarding and other urban arts activities have a long-term future on our site. That’s why we proposed a new, high-profile street skate space, enabling us to get a significant commercial income from the existing undercroft. However, we do recognise the strength of support for the undercroft in its current form and we are therefore planning and funding the Festival Wing Repair and Maintenance Project without commercialising this space.’
Read the full joint statement from the Southbank Centre and Long Live Southbank here.