Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to the newest version of your browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of Construction News, please enable cookies in your browser.

Welcome to the Construction News site. As we have relaunched, you will have to sign in once now and agree for us to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Southbank £120m redevelopment on hold after Boris intervention

Southbank Centre has announced it will withhold planning for a £120m festival wing after Mayor of London Boris Johnson ruled that a skate park at the site should be retained.

The board announced it will undertake “a final search for an alternative funding model” to keep the scheme alive after four years of planning proposals.

Mr Johnson ruled last month that the skate park should be retained under the proposed redevelopment.

It said: “The mayor has the final say in the planning process and the scheme is therefore unlikely to gain planning permission without the retention of the skate park. The mayor made clear that he supports the overall ambition of the Festival Wing scheme and understands the funding challenges faced by Southbank Centre.”

The Festival Wing project includes refurbishments of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery, which are in urgent need of repair.

In order to fund the scheme, the Southbank Centre had proposed moving the skate part to make way for new restaurants.

The board said: “It is far from clear how the scheme might now proceed without exposing Southbank Centre to unacceptable levels of financial risk but it has committed to a final three month search with all parties, including the Mayor’s Office, Lambeth Council and the skateboarders.

“The aspiration is to find concrete and practical alternative ideas for funding the public realm works that comprise an unusually high proportion of the Festival Wing project but will not attract funding from the philanthropic or sponsorship community.”

Rick Haythornthwaite, Chairman of Southbank Centre, said: “We have been handed a massive challenge and we don’t yet see how we will make it work – it is not as if we haven’t already explored numerous options. Our battle has never been with the skateboarders, whom we have welcomed and guaranteed a future on our site. The battle has always been against the economics of bringing a set of crumbling and inefficient buildings into the 21st century, in the context of declining public funding.”

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.