Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has shown his approval for skateboarding in the nation’s capital by awarding a £700,000 grant to the Southbank. This news is a shot in the arm, for skateboarding in the UK, and the welcome result of years of dedicated campaigning from skaters fighting the re-development of the legendary spot.
The grant means that the Southbank undercroft can be extended, possibly returning it to its former 1970s glory.
The grant comes as part of the Mayor’s Good Growth Fund, which saw over 200 bids for funding made to City Hall from people wanting to redevelop and regenerate their communities. A total of £24 million was awarded to 27 causes deemed suitable, with a further £46 million due to be allocated at a later date.
“The development will give skaters and BMXers access to newly opened up, and restored, sections of the undercroft”
In a press release, Mayor Khan said “I am using this funding to challenge preconceptions about how regeneration takes place. I want to give all Londoners – regardless of background – the opportunity to be actively involved in their city and have more places to live, learn, work and play.”
He added: “The projects I announced funding for today will help us to tackle inequality, strengthen civil society, and ensure the benefits of regeneration are felt by all.”
The fact that the regeneration of the Southbank has been included in this shows the Mayors forward-thinking attitude towards the sport which, of course comes in the wake of skateboarding and freestyle BMX being introduced as Olympic events at the 2020 games in Tokyo.