Plans emerge to use space under the Thames
The Greater London Authority (GLA) has announced plans to look at the feasibility of using space below Waterloo Bridge to accommodate studios for artists, public cafes and galleries.
Earlier this month, the GLA agreed up to £45,000 worth of funding for the feasibility study, which will examine the space from Belvedere Road to the BFI IMAX around Waterloo Bridge. If the Waterloo Bridge Undercrofts project gets the go ahead, it could become one of the more unusual venues in London.
Plans for the scheme offer developers the opportunity to enhance the usability of the area by bringing into play around 31,000 square feet of land, which is currently unused, beneath the southern part of the bridge.
This will help to improve the links between the area’s cultural facilities, interchange, new highways scheme and regeneration developments. Plans for the undercrofts space would work alongside the redevelopment of the IMAX roundabout, which is being handled by Transport for London.
The future of the Southbank Centre
Once complete, the project will expand the scope of The Southbank Centre, which has a prime position by the Thames, making it ideal for venue hire, London events and other corporate functions.
This space will allow more focus on the visual arts and provide extra room for new or emerging artists to showcase their talents. The development would include affordable studios for artists and cost efficient galleries to display their works. These affordable components would be subsidised through the incorporation of a commercial gallery, cafe and retail space.
Some work has been carried out to see what the potential use of this space might be. The new funding, alongside £10,000 made available by the Southbank Centre, will help to provide a detailed study.