The South Bank ’s famous Undercroft skate park is to be extended by almost a third of its size after winning a £700,000 grant from City Hall.
Dubbed the “spiritual home of British skating”, the park is to get improved lighting and its paving and concrete banks will be restored under the plans - writes standard.co.uk
The funding will also be used for a new “creative education centre” in the Southbank Centre , which owns the space underneath the Queen Elizabeth Hall where skaters have gathered for decades.
Chief Executive Elaine Bedell said the Southbank Centre was “delighted” to win the funding.
An artist's impression of the plans for the South Bank
She added: “The development of this space will give skaters and BMXers access to newly opened up, and restored, sections of the Undercroft whilst young people and schoolchildren from across the capital will benefit from a new fully accessible arena for diverse creative and learning activities.”
The funding, which follows a joint application by the Southbank Centre and skateboarding campaign group Long Live Southbank, appeared to secure the long-term future of the Undercroft.
It comes just over three years after skaters won a 17-month fight with the Southbank Centre to stop the park from being redeveloped to make way for shops and restaurants.
Skateboarders at the Undercroft on the South Bank (Nigel Howard)
Louis Woodhead, from the Long Live Southbank campaign, said: “We and the Southbank Centre have been working hard to show what can be achieved through collaboration and we’re grateful to everyone who continues to donate and support the campaign.”
The grant is part of a £24 million investment announced by Mayor Sadiq Khan , which has awarded 27 bids with funding to help boost regeneration of communities.
Other successful bids included a project to redevelop Herne Hill’s 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning centre in south London, and a scheme to create a new workspace for digital industry in Waterloo.
Announcing the successful bids, the Mayor said: “I want to give all Londoners – regardless of background – the opportunity to be actively involved in their city and have more places to live, learn, work and play.”
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