In 1984 the site consisted of derelict buildings and temporary car parks. The old buildings were demolished – apart from Oxo Tower Wharf, the South Bank riverside was completed, and a new park – Bernie Spain Gardens – was created between Stamford Street and the river. These new facilities, together with Gabriel’s Wharf, were opened to the public in 1988.
Subsequently, in partnership with South Bank Employers’ Group, we have improved the sub-structure, surfaces and lighting of the riverside walkway; restricted traffic and widened pavements along Upper Ground – South Bank’s ‘spine route’; improved the route from Waterloo Station to the National Theatre. In the future a new town square by Waterloo Bridge is planned (as part of the Doon Street development).
The quality of all public realm is substantially dependent on its management and maintenance. We employ a contractor to collect the litter, maintain the grass and trees, tend flowerbeds, and look after furniture and lighting, supported by 24 hour security.
Management and maintenance of public areas are expensive, particularly because the neighbourhood has become so popular. The cost of everyday management and maintenance of these areas is met by income generated from our commercial activities.