South Bank buildings to be razed and rebuilt
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Wednesday 09 December 1998
The Royal Festival Hall, scene of the Government's ecstatic celebrations after the general election, remains and will be restored and expanded. But the Hayward Gallery, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Purcell Room and the concrete walkways connecting them will be demolished and rebuilt further west.
The scheme, somewhat less grandiose than the architect Richard Rogers' original plan for a wavy glass roof covering the entire centre, was announced yesterday by Elliott Bernerd, the chairman of the complex. A new film complex will be built on the site, which will house the National Film Centre, the Museum of the Moving Image, currently under Waterloo Bridge, and the headquarters of the British Film Institute.
A building will be positioned on the Hungerford car park site overlooking Jubilee Gardens and the arches under Hungerford and Waterloo Bridges will be opened up to improve access. Mr Bernerd said: "We want to see the Royal Festival Hall not only restored but supported by properly equipped new arts buildings and well-designed, user- friendly open spaces. Our objective is to keep our arts buildings open during the millennium celebrations and then to implement our strategy, in a phased way, beginning construction in 2001."
Chris Smith, the Secretary of State for Culture, said the new proposals were "very dynamic" and Sir Jocelyn Stevens, the chairman of English Heritage, said the regeneration would transform the "most important site in the heart of London into a world- class arts complex".
Trevor Nunn, director of the National Theatre, said the plans would improve access from Waterloo rail station and make the South Bank more accessible to tourists and the local community.
Although everyone seemed happy with the plans yesterday, the regeneration scheme has been the cause of much bitterness since 1986, when the South Bank Board inherited the site from the Greater London Council.
When the pounds 100m plans of Lord Rogers of Riverside were ditched earlier this year because of a lack of Lottery money, Sir Brian Corby resigned as chairman of the centre's board.
Sir Brian was replaced by Mr Bernerd, a property developer, who said at the time that he was "emotionally and aesthetically committed" to Lord Rogers' design.
But his commitment was not enough to save the wavy glass roof.
A spokesman for the South Bank Centre said yesterday: "We were looking for something that we could phase in over a period of time, which would be more practical and help with costs, but the glass roof would have had to be constructed in one go and it was not possible. "This scheme is just as ambitious and fits in well with the redevelopment all along the river."
No details on funding were available yesterday but the Arts Council has promised up to pounds 20m of Lottery money, the Heritage Lottery Fund is said to have pledged a further pounds 20m and the publisher Lord Hamlyn is putting up pounds 19m.
A master planner for the complex will be appointed early in the new year and competitions will be held for each element of the new strategy.
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Follow the latest updates from the Monday night Premier League fixture
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Concerns raised phenomenon is threatening resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
Peter Biaksangzuala died from his injuries in hospital on Sunday
- 1 Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 5 Lynda Bellingham dead: Loose Women presenter dies after battle with colon cancer
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming that the street artist's identity has been revealed
'Russian submarine spotted' by Swedish military off coast of Stockholm
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Hurricane Gonzalo: When will it hit the UK and how strong will it be?
Oscar Pistorius sentence: Athlete's wealth and notoriety provoke an overdue debate on South African prisons
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver allegedly kicks gay couple off for kissing
£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...
£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...
£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...