Common Ground in the Undercroft: Tonight: Minutes before the launch of Southbank Towers People and Places exhibition by world famous New York based photographer Steve McCurry the Undercroft Skateboard Park struggle that became a national issue in the arts has been resolved.
Steve McCurry’s exhibition and book unites the undercroft and Southbank Centre – opposing sides of the skate campaign. The shot below this public statement (also below) was taken by Susie Rogers at the launch tonight – minutes after this statement . The actual shot in the exhibition was taken beneath The royal Festival Hall. The statement is agreed by the Long Live Southbank “campaigners” and Southbank Centre and all other parties.
“Following talks that have taken place over the last three months, Long Live Southbank and Southbank Centre are delighted to have reached an agreement that secures the Queen Elizabeth Hall undercroft as the long-term home of British skateboarding and the other urban activities for which it is famous.
The agreement has been formalised in a binding planning agreement with Lambeth Council. In the agreement, Southbank Centre agrees to keep the undercroft open for use without charge for skateboarding, BMX riding, street writing and other urban activities.
On the basis of the protections secured by the planning agreement, Southbank Centre and Long Live Southbank have withdrawn their respective legal actions in relation to the undercroft. These include Southbank Centre’s challenge to the registration of the undercroft as an asset of community value, Long Live Southbank’s application for village green status for the undercroft, and a judicial review of Lambeth Council’s decision to reject the village green application.
Long Live Southbank is pleased to support Southbank Centre’s Festival Wing project for the improvement of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery, on the basis that the plans will now no longer include any redevelopment within the skate area of the Queen Elizabeth Hall Cllr Lib Peck, Leader of Lambeth Council said; “I’m pleased that Lambeth Council was able to work with both sides and find an imaginative solution to resolve this. Shared public space in London is precious and Southbank Centre is a great asset to the country’s cultural life. This agreement is a sensible way of protecting both and we can all now look forward.”