The Queen was able to view the new Jubilee Gardens which have been transformed from what was a flat and featureless patch of grass into a soft, green and sustainable landscape of the highest quality, with new flowerbeds, high quality turf, elegant granite edges alongside a new granite path network, lighting columns, benches, trees and a brand new playground.
The £5m project was funded with a combined contribution from Shell and the EDF Energy London Eye of more than £3m via Lambeth Council, as well as £1.5m from the Mayor of London (via Transport for London) and contributions from several charitable trusts.
To celebrate the official opening of the new Jubilee Gardens, Her Majesty unveiled a plaque commemorating her visit, mounted alongside panels showcasing the site’s history, and also re-displaying the plaque The Queen unveiled in 1977. The Gardens were first created to celebrate The Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, and it is particularly fitting that, 35 years on, The Queen returned to open the new Jubilee Gardens in this Diamond Jubilee year.
The transformation of Jubilee Gardens has been made possible by a close partnership of neighbouring landowners, local businesses and community organisations, which now make up the Jubilee Gardens Trust.
The Royal Party was welcomed by Sir David Brewer, the Lord Lieutenant for Greater London, the Mayor and Mayoress of Lambeth, Kate Hoey, MP for Vauxhall, Ted Inman OBE, Chair of the Jubilee Gardens Trust, Sir Edward Lister, Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor for Planning, representing the Mayor of London, Councillor Sally Prentice, Lambeth Council Cabinet member for Culture, Councillor Lorna Campbell of Lambeth Council, and Alan Bishop, Chief Executive of Southbank Centre. Her Majesty then met a number of those involved in the design and construction of the Gardens, trustees of the Jubilee Gardens Trust and representatives of funders.
Ted Inman, Chair of the Jubilee Gardens Trust said: “The Trustees, who represent local community and business organisations, are proud to be managing this hugely popular new open space for London. It was a great privilege for us that The Queen came today to open the new Jubilee Gardens.”
Kate Hoey, MP for Vauxhall said: “Her Majesty’s visit was an honour for us all and wonderful recognition of the hard work of all the different organisations and individuals and the entire local community over many years to create these beautiful new Gardens.”
Councillor Steve Reed, Leader of Lambeth Council said: “We are delighted that The Queen agreed to open the new Jubilee Gardens which are a great new open space for Lambeth and for London. Lambeth has been pleased to play its part in delivering the new Gardens, in partnership with Transport for London, Southbank Centre, South Bank Employers’ Group and the Jubilee Gardens Trust.”
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “This wonderful space boasting views of some of world’s most iconic sights has been transformed from an ordinary park into a must visit destination. It is another example of how funding from my Great Outdoors programme is breathing new life into different corners of our city. Following its transformation, Jubilee Gardens is an oasis for local residents, workers and tourists alike and will help attract investment into the surrounding area which is a regeneration priority for London.”
Graham van’t Hoff, Chairman, Shell UK said: “Over the years, Shell has played its part in transforming the South Bank. Supporting local communities is an essential part of what we do around the world and it’s important for us to work with and support our neighbours. As a formal member of the Jubilee Gardens Trust, we are committed to maintaining an attractive and vibrant open space for many people to enjoy.”
Alan Bishop, Chief Executive of Southbank Centre said: “We are delighted and proud to have played a role in creating these new gardens for people who live, work and visit the South Bank and to have been part of such a dynamic partnership to bring our shared vision to reality.”
The re-developed Gardens were designed by Dutch landscape architects West 8 and constructed by Frosts Landscape Construction Ltd. The construction contract was let by Lambeth Council and overseen by the Jubilee Gardens Project Board comprising Lambeth Council, Southbank Centre, the Jubilee Gardens Trust and Transport for London. The contract was jointly managed by South Bank Employers’ Group and Lambeth Council. The new Jubilee Gardens has been supported by Kate Hoey, MP for Vauxhall, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and the Shirayama Corporation, owner of the adjacent County Hall.
For background information: www.jubileegardens.org.uk