Home » Hidden London » Hidden London: Southbank Undercroft Skate Space

Hidden London: Southbank Undercroft Skate Space

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Many visitors to the London Southbank may be surprised by skateboarders doing their tricks under the Southbank Centre. They may even more surprised that skateboarders have been using this space for nearly 50 years and it has gained a reputation as London’s iconic skateboarding site.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

For many years, the skateboarders were tolerated but not encouraged and in plans to redevelop the Southbank Centre, it was considered to use the space for other uses. However a long running campaign and a successful fundraising exercise has bought official recognition.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The local community of skateboarders, BMXers, Graffiti Writers and other creatives approached Southbank Centre in 2013 and 2014 and a partnership was formed to develop the space. After planning permission was granted, £1.1 million was raised in a joint fundraising campaign. From July 2019, Long Live Southbank (LLSB) and the Southbank Centre have opened sections of the Southbank Undercroft Skate Space which have been closed to the public since 2005. This marks a joint commitment to reopen and promote the space as a skateboarding site.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The work has restored Southbank’s little banks, one of the most important sites in UK skateboarding history. The work will also restore the wooden ledge, a large area of flatground and create a new jersey barrier for skaters to use in the space.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Various events have been planned to celebrate this official opening of the new areas and plans are being developed to consider the skateboarding future of the space.

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