Stockwell’s ‘incredibly popular’ skatepark will benefit from a £300,000 refurbishment thanks to funding from various organisations.
Lambeth Council has been working with Friends of Stockwell Skatepark to plan the upgrade, with improvements due to commence this month and last until early February.
The renovation will be carried out by specialist builders, Canvas Spaces, whose first task involves resurfacing the entire park.
Cabinet Member for Equalities & Culture, Sonia Winifred, said: “This is an incredibly popular skatepark and well worth investing in so people can get the best possible experience when they are riding their boards, bikes or rollerblades.
“It’s good timing to do this as skateboarding is being included in the Olympics for the first time this summer.”
Aside from the council’s investment, funding for the scheme has also been provided by Network Homes and London Marathon Charitable Trust.
Built in 1978, the skatepark has become a stalwart feature of the local area and remains one of just a handful of surviving parks across London.
Known locally as ‘Brixton Beach’ and ‘Stockwell Sands’, the site attracts a diverse crowd of people who flock to socialise and show off their skills.
Labour MP for Vauxhaull, Kate Hoey, said: “I am very pleased that work will start next month on improving this most wonderful amenity in Stockwell.
“People come from all over London to skateboard here but it is first and foremost a local community facility cherished by young and old alike.
“I want to congratulate the Friends of the Skatepark for their determination to make Lambeth help them raise so much of the funding.”
One of the main reasons the park continues to attract so many people is down to its central roadside location between Brixton and Stockwell.
Skate enthusiast and professor of architecture and urban culture at UCL, Iain Borden, 56, said: “Skateparks are great, inclusive, social spaces that help to unite people who otherwise might not cross paths.
“They are a bit like village greens in a way – people come here to talk to each other and hang out.”
He added: “Stockwell’s skatepark is particularly unique given that it hasn’t changed much over the years.
“If it were to be knocked down, it would likely be replaced with another Pret a Manger or O2 phone shop, both of which are spaces which lack a bit of edge and unpredictability.”
Once the refurbishment is finished, there will be a series of instructor-led activities to get children and young people in the area skating, biking or rollerblading on the newly resurfaced features.
Sessions will also be held for adults, including for those with disabilities.