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Southbank Area Information

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Until an inspired and long overdue spate of investment, the south bank of the River Thames had lagged behind the north in terms of infrastructure and transport links. Its shallow banks had made it ideal for all manner of industries but as those declined, the area fell into neglect and disrepair. However London has now come to terms with its Victorian past and sees beauty and history in these bricks and mortar reminders of past glories. The Oxo Tower was once a grim advert for a working-class food product, but now houses a luxury restaurant with some of the best river views in Europe. Likewise the old power station situated next door which now houses one of the world's leading collections of modern art.

The Southbank could not have reinvented itself as a credible place to rent a property without improved transportation and in Blackfriars station it possesses a fine example of imaginative and community focused planning. Instead of building on the old site on the northern side of the bridge, developers extended the platform, making it occupy the entire span over the Thames. Passengers can now access the station and its attendant Tube link from both banks - an unprecedented feature. The station also draws 90% of its power from solar roof panels making it as green as it is accessible.

A prominent arts and entertainment quarter, the Southbank Centre includes the Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and The Hayward. The Royal Festival Hall is the home of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the venue of many prominent performances from the world of classical and jazz music. Next door used to be the seat of London government, but is now the site of the Sea Life Aquarium and the British Film museum.


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