Plans are underway to extend the world’s oldest found skate spot, the iconic Southbank in London, UK.
Just a year ago, The Southbank – or the Undercroft to give it its proper name – was under threat and could have been wiped from the face of the planet for good as retail units were proposed to be developed in the place where skaters have rolled for decades.
However, following a long campaign by Long Live Southbank, the Undercroft was saved from the corporate developers and assured its safety forever. And now, there’s a new campaign to restore the skate spot to its former glory.
As it stands today, the Southbank is only about one third of the size that it was when skaters first discovered it back in 1973. If the campaign is successful, the entire space beneath the Undercroft building would be opened up for skaters once again.
Back in 2005, boards were erected in the area limiting the skatable space. The people at the Southbank Centre who look after the building promised that they were only temporary and would soon be removed. However, to this day, the boards remain up and the promise remains broken.
But now, Long Live Southbank have released a 50 page report as a precursor to a full report that will come out later in the year, proposing a reclamation of the space.
They claim the space that was once free to use is currently used by a “poorly frequented pop up bar, seasonally used exhibition space with similarly few humans, and storage space.” They suggest that opening the area up to skaters again, along with the street artists, BMXers, dancers and other people who use the Undercroft would see the area flourish.
To find out more on the campaign, and see how you can get involved, visit the Long Live Southbank website.