Southbank Centre skaters to stay for long term, thwarting redevelopment plans

Skateboarders embroiled in a battle to keep the famous skate park at the undercroft on the South Bank have emerged victorious after campaigning to keep the park open.

A proposed £120m redevelopment plan drawn up by the Southbank Centre threatened to close the park and turn it into shops and restaurants.

But the skateboarders refused to leave. Their campaign group Long Live Southbank took legal action against the plans and even managed to win the support of London Mayor Boris Johnson.

An agreement made public yesterday said that both sides had now withdrawn legal action and the matter has been resolved.

The Southbank Centre has said it will keep the undercroft space beneath the Queen Elizabeth Hall “open for use without charge for skateboarding, BMX riding, street writing and other urban activities”.

Long live Southbank tweeted a victorious message yesterday afternoon:

 

According to the Guardian, Southbank Centre chief executive Alan Bishop said that the institution recognised the strength of the undercroft in its existing form, but added: “We are also still committed to a wider scheme for the festival wing, creating new arts and cultural spaces to provide more free arts and education opportunities for millions of people each year, but in the meantime we need to save the existing buildings.”

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