frequently asked questions

Long Live Southbank is a non-profit company set up by the grassroots Southbank community to serve in the best interest of the long term future of the Southbank Skate Spot. After preserving Southbank in 2014, Long Live Southbank authored a proposal to restore legendary sections of the spot that have been closed off since 2004. Working collaboratively with Southbank Centre, we have gained planning permission in partnership and are currently fundraising so that this restoration can become a reality.

At the time of writing, once the costs of fundraising are taken off, we have raised £238,000 in addition to a £700,000 Good Growth Fund grant, which is conditional on match funding and will be split between the skate spot and the adjacent schools and young people’s centre. In addition to this, there are a large number of open conversations with potential funders and grants for which we are under consideration. In summary, we are making good progress.

We have a thorough fundraising plan to raise the rest of the sum required for the project. This involves pursuing a number of avenues, our online crowdfunder and merchandise sales, grants from trusts and foundations, one off fundraising events, donations from individual philanthropists and working with brands and established companies who may be interested in the space. Of course however we raise the funds required, Southbank will never become a branded space and it will always be open for all 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are lucky to be supported by people who are buying into the spirit of the space, rather than looking to change it.

The Undercroft Old Space is an important part of the Southbank Undercroft. It was discovered by skateboarders in 1973 and quickly developed into one of the most important skateboarding spots in the world. With the intention of a temporary closure, it was boarded up in 2004 and has not been skated since.

It is incredibly important, whether you skate or not. The Southbank Undercroft is a rare free creative space in the very heart of London, and this restoration would create a far more complete space for young people to develop creatively. Whether that is through skateboarding, BMX, art, filmmaking or photography, it will enrich London’s cultural life, give young people positive and creative outlets as well as a much needed sense of community.

In the skateboarding world this would be of huge importance. This space is the longest continually skated space in the world. It’s restoration will be a landmark for skateboarders across the globe.

An fundraising agreement has been signed with Southbank Centre that will see the restoration occur in two phases. The first area to be restored includes the majority of the space that was closed in 2004, as viewable in the plans on our home page. There will be a much expanded space for skating and other free creative activities, including the little banks and the long ledge restored and refurbished. Adjacent to this will be a Schools and Young People’s Centre programmed by Southbank Centre. The second phase is a long term plan that would see the Young People’s Centre rehoused when a viable alternative site is found and funding is in place, following new developments on Southbank Centre’s site.

Long Live Southbank endeavour to be as transparent about our fundraising and its progress as possible. We are always open for questions over email, and make an effort to be available for in person chats at regular fundraising events and down at Southbank. We keep our supporters regularly updated via social media and monthly mailouts and are in regular consultation with the local community as to our fundraising aims and progress.

There is plenty you can do to help! Individual donations are always welcome over at www.llsbdonate.com and encouraging others to support as well is great as well. Beyond this, there is plenty more you can do to help. Spreading the word and talking about the restoration to as many people as possible and sharing our latest news on your social media channels can make a really big difference.

Everyone has different skills and connections. It’s a community project, so we can all think about who we can talk to, who we can put in contact and how that can make a really big difference. Please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us at hello@llsb.com.

If you are also interested in volunteering with Long Live Southbank and have time that you can dedicate consistently and reliably then similarly please email us on hello@llsb.com.

Our relationship with Southbank Centre has improved greatly over the last 3 years. We are now partnering closely with Southbank Centre, having jointly submitted the Undercroft restoration’s planning application to the council. We meet regularly and would like to deliver this project in collaboration.

Long Live Southbank has written a comprehensive article, designed to help other campaigns. This has been published by Kingpin and can be viewed here, with full interviews appearing on the blog section of this website. More advice can also be seen in our article in SkateJawn and can be seen here

Long Live Southbank are committed to sharing the knowledge we have gained as widely as possible, helping others to stand up for free creative space. If you would like more advice, please do not hesitate to contact hello@llsb.com.