Battle to save Undercroft skate park continues as Lambeth Council receive planning application


More than 40,000 have signed a petition to stop the relocation.

By Rachel Mountain and Oli Rahman

The skating community are continuing their fight against the Southbank Centre redevelopment plans which will evict them from their central London home of 40 years.

Over May bank holiday, skaters came together for a festival to celebrate the space, combining DJs, skating, graffiti artists and BMXing in a dynamic show of solidarity.

The skate park, known as the Undercroft, sits next to the Thames and was an unused part of the concrete landscape until it was reclaimed by skaters in the 70s.

Member of the Long Live Southbank team, Daniel Lawrence, said: “We’ve been having meetings with the Southbank Centre to see what they’re doing. “If we can persuade them to keep this or just keep where they shut down a few years ago – they shut down the back wall – to open that up and let us have that, then maybe still have a couple of shops there.

“Maybe build their shops where they want to build the new skate park.”

The plans to redevelop the Festival Wing will include a new heritage centre, a youth space and a children and families arts centre, however all this will need to be financially supported by commercial retail space.

Southbank Centre Director Mike McCart, said: “Financially, it’s very important as well because the project itself will be delivered through a number of funding sources including commercial loans, which will be supported by cafes and restaurants, and this site is the most valuable site in the area.”

The Southbank Centre submitted their planning application to Lambeth Council this week, proposing to move the skate park to a permanent site underneath Hungerford Bridge, which will be co-designed with Central St Martins College of Art and Design.

“We’ve kept it absolutely raw so that it’s a found space very similar to the one the skaters inherited in the 70s, and what we want to do is to co-design this area with them and to invest in it as well,” said Mr McCart.

An online petition to stop the relocation has already garnered nearly 40,000 signatures.

“I don’t think anything will come close to what we have here. It wasn’t built for skateboarding, it’s a really good street spot,” said Daniel. Plans are available at

The petition is available at

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