Starting tomorrow, September 8, Vans is hosting ‘Skate the Strand‘; a 2-week event consisting of a jam packed programme of free skate lessons, pro demos and open skate sessions. ‘Skate the Strand’ will take place on the newly pedestrianised Strand Aldwych, with Vans x Betongpark setting up a temporary street skatepark outside Somerset House. Skaters of all levels are invited to join in.
New ‘Skate the Strand’ experience coming to the West End
As part of Westminster City Council’s Inside Out Festival, which is bringing Art, Entertainment and Culture to the streets of Westminster this summer, and in association with Somerset House’s ‘No Comply: Skate Culture and Community’ exhibition, Vans®, the original action sports brand, will be hosting two weeks of free skate programming at a purpose built pop up skatepark placed on the Strand Aldwych, just outside the entrance to Somerset House.
Working with industry leading skatepark designers and builders Betongpark, we 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 / well-being, and enrichment of youth culture.
Two weeks of exciting programming, including Free Skate Lessons, Pro Demos and Open Public Skate Sessions, will run from 8th- 24th September, with a celebration event to mark the end of Somerset House’s ‘No Comply’ taking place on the exhibition’s penultimate day, Saturday 18th September. Find out more and keep up to date on how you can get involved through the Westminster Reveals website.
The ‘Skate the Strand’ project was born from these partners to showcase and celebrate skateboarding’s inclusive creative culture, alongside aspiration to drive change in how shared urban space can be developed and used by all. ‘Skate the Strand’ marks a key moment in an ongoing plan from Westminster City Council and its partners to redevelop/reset Strand Aldwych, which will see this ancient route adapted for 21st century to become a pedestrian-focused destination, transforming this historic gateway to the West End into a world-class and contemporary traffic-free public space.
The new ‘Skate the Strand’ project is part of the wider Westminster Reveals campaign and Inside Out festival that launched in August 2021.
Cllr Matthew Green, Cabinet Member for Business, Licensing and Planning at Westminster City Council said:
“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.”