Stockwell Skate Park presses Lambeth council for funding to safeguard future

A south London skateboard and BMX park is urging Lambeth Council to help fund its upkeep and protect its future. 

Friends of Stockwell Skatepark have applied to be listed as an Asset of Community Value and hope to secure funds from the council’s parks and open spaces budget.

The historic skate park, built in 1978, has produced world class skateboarders including Ewen Bower and Lucian Hendricks but is desperately short of funds and uncertain as to its legal standing.

The adjacent Thrayle House estate is due to be demolished and re-developed this year, with developers proposing to build a 20-floor block of flats and the development due to encroach on the green space next to the skate park.

Adam Watt, secretary of community association Friends of Stockwell Skatepark, said: “They’re knocking down this section of this council estate. So we were wondering how that would affect us.

“The surface here is very deteriorated now, so we were wondering who is responsible for it.

“We have spoken to the developers, the council, people from the mayor’s office and the Long Live Southbank campaign.

“The long shot of that is we’re going to make our own proposals, which is how we want to see the green space used, and to ask them for money to fix the surface and to have an ongoing budget in the future.

“Friends of Stockwell Skate Park was set up to try and achieve these aims.”

A successful Asset of Community Value application would mean that, if the council decided to sell the park, the community would be given six months to put together a bid to buy it.

Whereas the Long Live Southbank campaigners were in direct conflict with developers wanting to demolish their skate-park, Stockwell Skatepark is not currently under threat of closure, said Mr Watt.

“We’re just trying to step in at the right time and influence the process,” he said.

Brixton BMXer, Lukas Banasiak, reinforced the importance of the skate park to the local community.

Mr Banasiak, 35, said: “It keeps kids off the street. They come in here and it’s a safe environment. They don’t get into trouble.

“Brixton has that reputation; it’s not very good for kids hanging out on the street. This skate park has really good vibes.”

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