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New ‘Skate the Strand’ experience coming to the West End

Vans, in collaboration with Westminster City Council and Somerset House, are to launch ‘Skate The Strand’ – a FREE skateboarding event in the heart of London at a newly pedestrianised public space between Temple and Charing Cross.

Held in conjunction with Westminster City Council’s Inside Out Festival – a brand new event that brings Art, Entertainment and Culture to the streets of Westminster this summer, along with Somerset House’s ‘No Comply: Skate Culture and Community’ exhibition – the two week event aims to showcase and celebrate skateboarding’s inclusive creative culture, and will take place at a purpose-built pop up skatepark on the Strand Aldwych, just outside the entrance to Somerset House.

Working with industry leading skatepark designers and builders Betongpark, the organisers have created a temporary, street-inspired skate friendly setup that can be enjoyed by skaters of any level. The creative vision for these obstacles is to promote how skate-able architectural forms like these can be integrated into public space as visual engagement and enrichment for all, acting as landmarks for skate culture and showcasing the positive impact skateboarding can have on local communities, mental health and well-being, and enrichment of youth culture.

Commenting on the upcoming event, Cllr Matthew Green, Cabinet Member for Business, Licensing and Planning at Westminster City Council said in a statement: “This month we saw a once busy and polluted stretch of the Strand transformed into a brand-new pedestrianised area for Westminster’s communities and visitors. And following the huge skateboarding successes from Team GB at the recent Olympics, what better way to celebrate this new public space than with our exciting ‘Skate the Strand’ project? With the trucks and buses of traffic jams replaced by the trucks and decks of skateboards, we want the Strand to be dominated by different sets of four wheels as people come to enjoy this fantastic sport, right in the heart of London.

 “We have an exciting calendar of activity happening over the coming months as part of the Inside Out festival. This fits into our wider plans to encourage visitors back into Westminster as part of our vision for the safe and successful reopening of our city, as well as our longer-term vision for the Strand Aldwych area.”

Two weeks of programming, including Free Skate Lessons, Pro Demos and Open Public Skate Sessions, will run from September 8th to 24th, with a celebration event to mark the end of Somerset House’s ‘No Comply’ taking place on the exhibition’s penultimate day, Saturday September 18th.

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