London’s skate scene fought for, and won, their patch back…
This week saw the campaigners of Long Live Southbank – who have been fighting to save the Undercroft skate park from redevelopment as ‘retail units’ – agree a settlement with the South Bank Centre, who had proposed the changes.
This is the end to an 18 month-long impassioned campaign that has collected over 150,000 signatures of support, and drawn lawyers, journalists, the general public and skaters together to protect the world’s oldest recognised skate spot.
The campaign has been a victory too for grass roots campaigning, with the group using video on YouTube, social media, charm, intelligence and persistence to achieve their goal, occasionally in the face of a larger, slicker and better funded opposition.
However, South Bank can breathe easy once more, as the parties have come to an agreement with Lambeth Council and LLSB and the Southbank Centre move forward in support of one-another’s aims. The Undercroft stays – and the Southbank Centre sees an exciting time ahead with major development… And hey, the world can do without more ‘retail units’.
A few months ago, Lovebox sent photographer Theo Cottle down to the park to meet campaigners and photograph the skaters. Here are his pictures, of Londoners at the best, organised and feisty, protecting the place they love.
You can even now buy the book they have made of the history of the skate centre and the South Bank’s place in skate history.