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Jubilee Gardens to be transformed

The run-down Jubilee Gardens on the South Bank is set to be transformed over the next three years with a pioneering initiative agreed between the Jubilee Gardens Steering Group and South Bank Centre.

The Jubilee Gardens Steering Group, which brings together the local community and employers, has been working with the South Bank Centre and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) to set up a process for transforming the park. Once the brief has been agreed an independent trust will be set up to implement the project and to maintain it on a long term basis.

In a joint statement Michael Lynch, Chief Executive of the South Bank Centre; Kate Hoey, MP for Vauxhall and Peter Truesdale, Leader of Lambeth Council said: "Together we have agreed to proceed with Jubilee Gardens independently of the future of the adjoining Hungerford Car Park site. The process is now starting in order to take advantage of the available public and private funding. Together we will create a strong and cohesive client body to take responsibility for the redevelopment and on-going maintenance of Jubilee Gardens."

The steeting group claims that the new Jubilee Gardens will be a "world class public park to rival parks in Paris and Barcelona and the other great cities of the world". There will be an open and green space with trees, improved access and circulation, a superb children's playground and an open-air location for entertainment and public events.

Work on the new park is expected to cost approximately 5 million. Funding is in the process of being negotiated but support has been received from British Airways London Eye and Waterloo Project Board. The London Eye has agreed to a capital contribution of 1.55 million and a regular contribution to maintenance. The Waterloo Project Board, which is delivering the single regeneration budget programme for the area, has made an in-principle commitment to a long term investment in the park as part of its programme for regenerating South Bank and Waterloo.

The complicated history of the site

Jubilee Gardens was created in 1977 to mark the Queen's Silver Jubilee and opened by The Queen on 9 June that year. On the abolition of the Greater London Council (GLC) in 1986 the land between Hungerford Bridge and County Hall passed to the London Residuary Body which was responsible for disposing of GLC assets. South Bank Centre (SBC) continued the GLC programme of outdoor events in the summer with LRB consent. The London Residuary Body (LRB) sold County Hall to Shiryama Corporation resulting in a range of restrictive covenants including rights under and over the park and negotiated a five-year contract with London Underground for Jubilee Line Extension (JLE) works permitting use of part of the gardens for soil extraction. In 1994 the freehold of Jubilee Gardens and Hungerford Car Park passed to the Arts Council of England (ACE) and then to SBC on a long lease.

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