Harlesden Canalside

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Consultation has concluded


Project update: Our public consultation on the emerging masterplan and concept designs for improved public realm and boater facilities at Harlesden Canalside has now ended. We’re very grateful that so many of you took part in our online and in-person consultation activities and for the conversations and ideas received. We will now review all comments and ideas and update the project accordingly, before making a formal planning application to Brent Council early April. We expect to have planning consent by early June, and will update the public on the next steps then. Updated plans and drawings will be shared on this webpage in April, so watch this space!


Harlesden Canalside

OPDC, in partnership with Brent Council and the Canal & River Trust, is bringing forward improvements to Harlesden Canalside for local residents, businesses, boaters and visitors.

The project is part of a £1.2m community investment, funded by the Mayor’s Good Growth Fund, to bring forward a range of improvements to public spaces on the canal.

A planning application will be submitted to Brent Council in April and the public space improvements are expected to be delivered in the second half of 2022.

View the current masterplan and concept designs.

The Harlesden Canalside Masterplan. Head to the Documents section at the bottom of this website to download detailed plans and descriptions.

The plans for Harlesden Canalside include:

A Boaters’ Hub at Steele Road

At the far end of Steele Road a new hub for boaters roaming the canal will provide space and kit for maintenance and small boat repairs. Proposals aim to make sure boat repair, walking and cycling can happen side-by-side here, while also rebuilding the entrance to the canal providing step-free access to the towpath for walkers, cyclists, wheel chair and push chair users.

A Canal Garden and outdoor activity space

When the sun is out this area is the perfect spot for sitting on the grass or eating lunch under the old willow trees with an open view over the canal onto the wildlife on the other side. Proposals seek to create a park-like feel to this area, and provide a landscaped amphitheatre for community gatherings and performances. Two dedicated mooring spaces for narrow boats operated by local groups will also be created here.

The Sharks Canoe Club

The Sharks have been running weekly canoeing classes from their container on the car park since 2018. Proposals will improve canoe club facilities with additional storage, safer breakout spaces, a pontoon and new stepped access to the towpath. This will support The Sharks expanding their activity offer, and create a safer and more pleasant environment for canoers and passers-by.

Acton Lane entrance

This is the entrance point to the canal for everyone coming from Harlesden or the heart of Park Royal. But the canal is surprisingly hidden in this area. Proposals will create a proper entrance to the canal by making it more visible and improving the existing steps down to the towpath.

View the current masterplan and concept designs.


An amphitheatre and narrow boat for local organisations will create opportunities for outdoor activities. 

The story so far

To kick off our engagement we recruited local resident Anita Whittaker in 2020 to assist in planning, developing and running activities to test and collect feedback. As our Local Community Coordinator, Anita got stuck in and really helped us to reach hundreds of local people, including those we may not have been able to engage with.

Across 2021, we engaged with local residents, boaters and businesses through a range of co-design activities to understand what could happen in this space. We wanted plans to be driven by the community to ensure this new space responds to the needs on the ground. Activities have included 1-2-1 conversations, webinars, and a community quiz - take a look at the events section to the right for more information. You can view the outcomes from the engagement work in the Stage 1 Engagement Report.

From 16 February through to 2 March 2022 we consulted with the public on the emerging masterplan and concept designs. The ideas and comments will go on to inform the final masterplan and design work before it is submitted as part of a formal planning application to Brent Council in April 2022.


The Harlesden Canalside projet area




Project update: Our public consultation on the emerging masterplan and concept designs for improved public realm and boater facilities at Harlesden Canalside has now ended. We’re very grateful that so many of you took part in our online and in-person consultation activities and for the conversations and ideas received. We will now review all comments and ideas and update the project accordingly, before making a formal planning application to Brent Council early April. We expect to have planning consent by early June, and will update the public on the next steps then. Updated plans and drawings will be shared on this webpage in April, so watch this space!


Harlesden Canalside

OPDC, in partnership with Brent Council and the Canal & River Trust, is bringing forward improvements to Harlesden Canalside for local residents, businesses, boaters and visitors.

The project is part of a £1.2m community investment, funded by the Mayor’s Good Growth Fund, to bring forward a range of improvements to public spaces on the canal.

A planning application will be submitted to Brent Council in April and the public space improvements are expected to be delivered in the second half of 2022.

View the current masterplan and concept designs.

The Harlesden Canalside Masterplan. Head to the Documents section at the bottom of this website to download detailed plans and descriptions.

The plans for Harlesden Canalside include:

A Boaters’ Hub at Steele Road

At the far end of Steele Road a new hub for boaters roaming the canal will provide space and kit for maintenance and small boat repairs. Proposals aim to make sure boat repair, walking and cycling can happen side-by-side here, while also rebuilding the entrance to the canal providing step-free access to the towpath for walkers, cyclists, wheel chair and push chair users.

A Canal Garden and outdoor activity space

When the sun is out this area is the perfect spot for sitting on the grass or eating lunch under the old willow trees with an open view over the canal onto the wildlife on the other side. Proposals seek to create a park-like feel to this area, and provide a landscaped amphitheatre for community gatherings and performances. Two dedicated mooring spaces for narrow boats operated by local groups will also be created here.

The Sharks Canoe Club

The Sharks have been running weekly canoeing classes from their container on the car park since 2018. Proposals will improve canoe club facilities with additional storage, safer breakout spaces, a pontoon and new stepped access to the towpath. This will support The Sharks expanding their activity offer, and create a safer and more pleasant environment for canoers and passers-by.

Acton Lane entrance

This is the entrance point to the canal for everyone coming from Harlesden or the heart of Park Royal. But the canal is surprisingly hidden in this area. Proposals will create a proper entrance to the canal by making it more visible and improving the existing steps down to the towpath.

View the current masterplan and concept designs.


An amphitheatre and narrow boat for local organisations will create opportunities for outdoor activities. 

The story so far

To kick off our engagement we recruited local resident Anita Whittaker in 2020 to assist in planning, developing and running activities to test and collect feedback. As our Local Community Coordinator, Anita got stuck in and really helped us to reach hundreds of local people, including those we may not have been able to engage with.

Across 2021, we engaged with local residents, boaters and businesses through a range of co-design activities to understand what could happen in this space. We wanted plans to be driven by the community to ensure this new space responds to the needs on the ground. Activities have included 1-2-1 conversations, webinars, and a community quiz - take a look at the events section to the right for more information. You can view the outcomes from the engagement work in the Stage 1 Engagement Report.

From 16 February through to 2 March 2022 we consulted with the public on the emerging masterplan and concept designs. The ideas and comments will go on to inform the final masterplan and design work before it is submitted as part of a formal planning application to Brent Council in April 2022.


The Harlesden Canalside projet area



Consultation has concluded
  • Harlesden Canalside Consultation Invitation

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    supporting image

    During 2021, we asked you to help us design a community hub for the canal towpath in Harlesden, including boater facilities, a canal garden, an outdoor activity space and seating, improved canoe club facilities and better access to the towpath. Hundreds of local people took part by sending us emails and talking to us over the phone, through Zoom meetings and at some socially distanced engagements in the area.

    We’ve also been working with the project’s Sounding Board Group, established to advise OPDC and its partners through the different design stages and help bring the ideas to life. The Group includes members from the boating community, local businesses, the Sharks canoe club and future users of the dedicated community moorings.

    We are so grateful for the conversations and ideas received, and have worked hard over the past few months, in partnership with Brent Council and the Canal and River Trust, to create a plan and associated designs using your direction as a guide to ensure that the new space responds to your feedback and is financially sustainable.

    Before submitting a planning application to Brent Council, we are holding a final round of public consultation between 16th February and 2nd March, to give you the opportunity to view and provide feedback on the final proposal and concept designs.

    As part of the consultation, we would like to invite you to join one or more of the following public consultation events:

    Community consultation event: site tour, presentation and Q&As

    Wednesday 16th February

    2pm until 4pm

    Grand Junction Arms, NW10 7AD

    Drop-in public exhibition: view plans, ask questions and leave feedback

    Saturday 19th February

    Between 12 and 4pm (drop-in)

    Grand Junction Arms, NW10 7AD

    Online consultation event: presentation and Q&A

    Tuesday 22nd February

    6pm until 7pm

    Zoom, online

    Online consultation event: presentation and Q&A

    Saturday 26th February

    11am until 12noon

    Zoom, online


    Please register for the consultation events here consult.opdc.london.gov.uk/harlesdencanalside

    You can also have your say using our bespoke , accessible any time of the day or night, where you can view plans and visuals, watch videos and leave feedback. Hardcopy plans and feedback forms will also be available at Harlesden Library, 49A Craven Park Rd, London NW10 8SE. We offer translations, Braille or audio format for all of our materials upon request.

    Please also see enclosed our promotional flyer with all of the details, we’re keen for as many local people to get involved as possible so please feel free to share it across your networks, friends and family.

    We’d love to see you and hear from you during the consultation period between 16th February – 2nd March, so please do come and join us to share your final views and help turn Harlesden Canalside into a vibrant public space for the area and its residents, workers and boating community.

    If you have any questions about the consultation or our plans don’t hesitate to get in touch on 0207 983 5732 and if you do not wish to receive any further information about the Harlesden Canalside project, please tell us so we can remove you from our records.


  • Summary of March engagement events

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    What happened in March 2021?

    The team hosted three online engagement events in March including the Harlesden Virtual Quiz, ‘Your Voice Matters’ Webinar and the Business Workshop.

    Below are the event listings and a short summary of what happened at each event. You can also watch a recording of the ‘Your Voice Matters Webinar’ via the link below.

    If you weren’t able to attend but are interested in finding out more about the project then you can also register for future updates via emailing the OPDC - info@opdc.london.gov.uk


    Harlesden Virtual Quiz - 4th March 2021

    This was a relaxed and fun, social engagement event sharing general knowledge of the canal and surrounding areas. It was an opportunity to, meet others interested in the canalside project and those on the team behind the design, whilst learning more about the canal and its history. How many of the questions would you have gotten right? Have a look at the questions and play with friends, family and neighbours at home.


    Your Voice Matters Webinar - 15th March 2021

    This very successful, information sharing event, was well attended and focused on the ideas and feedback collected through engagement so far. We grouped the initial engagement into four main themes and provided speakers for each; as a bonus, we were supported by: David Lunts, CEO of OPDC and Dawn Butler, Brent Central MP.

    Environment – Jan Ackenhausen Principal Urban Designer OPDC

    Youth and Legacy – Danny Coyle Head teacher Newman Catholic College

    Mending, Making and Meeting - hub purpose – Nisha Kurian Associate Architect at We Made That

    Supporting our Under-represented Community – Ryan Fuke Brent Outreach and Prevention Manager St Mungo’s

    Attendees broke out into groups to discuss how their ideas can be used to support the themes.

    Each group’ discussion points were fed back to the full room. And an open question time for those who wished to ask. All information received will feed into the overall design and plan for the project. The workshops were recorded and can be viewed via the links below.



    You can still feed into the design and plan for Harlesden Canalside by emailing OPDC - info@opdc.london.gov.uk


    Business Workshop - 18th March 2021

    Led by the team at 3Space, this was a presentation and project information session for landowners, adjacent businesses and local interest groups focusing on business planning. Once the current findings were presented, attendees were encouraged to ask questions around support, investment and individual business proposals. Attendees then discussed the idea of creating sustainable business proposals that worked in harmony with ‘community’ uses. An open Expression of Interest was launched and you can contact the team at OPDC to express your interest in these activities.

  • Events & Workshops in March 2021

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    What….

    We asked and you have spoken.

    Hundreds of emails, lots of phone calls and Zoom meets, even a few socially distanced face-to-face conversations in-between lockdowns.

    The aim of this project is to create a flagship community hub.

    We really want plans to be driven by the community, with the consultant team guiding the direction of the project to ensure this new space is financially sustainable.

    The team will continue to work with local people and groups to experiment and determine what uses would be most viable and suitable for people who work and live nearby. This will inform creation of the business plan and the associated design of the project..

    Why

    Public outdoor space is precious - our plans will enable people from Park Royal, Harlesden and beyond to enjoy the benefits of the canal, breathing life into an undiscovered public asset.

    We will provide a greener, safer community space for residents, boat dwellers and visitors, encouraging boating, walking and cycling.

    The plans will include a much-needed place to meet, socialise and hangout, providing facilities to support community and recreational activities in an environment that reflects Park Royals and Harlesden's culture and character.

    They will help support local businesses, providing workspace and space to trade, helping the local economy and creating jobs In the community.

    In summary, the Harlesden Canalside will:

    • Encourage people to enjoy the canal and enhancing outdoor space
    • Facilitate community activities
    • Enable healthier lifestyles and outdoor activity
    • Celebrate what makes the area so unique
    • Support local businesses and create opportunities in the community

    How

    Following our conversations with the community, we have incorporated ideas and feedback so far into four main themes:

    Environment - refuse clearance, landscaping, wildlife, food growing & river clean, safety, allotments.

    Youth and legacy - education, expression, social space, networking and training, recruitment, safe haven, water sports, recreation and leisure.

    Mending, making and meeting - hub purpose – work and social space, a café or bar, event space, markets, and a bicycle, boat and canoe repair workshop.

    Supporting our under-represented communities - disability access, workshops, policing, mutual aid, drug and alcohol abuse support, homelessness, mental health.

    Have we got it right? We would like to talk further with you about our findings through the upcoming events.


    4th March 2021 – Harlesden Virtual Quiz

    This is a relaxed, social engagement event, created to be fun, spark interest and share general knowledge of the canal and surrounding areas. It is an opportunity to further share ideas, learn more about the canal and its history whilst meeting others interested in the canalside project and those on the team behind the design.

    We ask that you bring your friends and create a team of 5, or we can help you to join others and meet new friends, by placing you into a group.

    Register to attend, and for further information and rules click the button below

    Registration has now closed.


    15th March 2021 – Harlesden Canalside ‘Your Voice Matters’ Webinar

    This event focuses on the ideas and feedback collected through engagement so far.

    We have grouped comments into four main themes: Environment, Youth and Legacy, Mending, Making and Meeting - hub purpose, Supporting our Under-represented Community.

    There will be speakers to present these four themes including, a representative from the Canals & River Trust, Dawn Butler MP for Brent Central, Danny Coyle Headteacher of Newman Catholic College, and an Architect from We Made That with more tbc; After which, attendees will break out into groups to discuss how your ideas can be used to support them.

    Each group will then have an opportunity to discuss with the other participants and this information will feed into the design.

    We also hope to identify people willing to form a sounding board who will continue to engage with 3Space, We Made That and OPDC throughout the design and build process.

    The webinar will be recorded and available to view and share after the event.

    Register to attend and for up to date information click the button below

    Registration has now closed.


    18th March 2021 - Business Workshop

    This is a presentation and project information session for landowners, adjacent businesses, local entrepreneurs and organisations. The event will provide a summary of types of enterprise, community business and income generating uses which could be appropriate for the site.

    It will include the launch of an Expression of Interest for operators and those within community to come forward with suitable business ideas.

    The event will be recorded and available to view after the event.

    Register to attend and for up to date information click the button below.

    Registration has now closed.


    For further information on any of these events, please contact the OPDC on info@opdc.london.gov.uk

  • Available Now - Canal Walk/Kids Activity Pack

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    Many suggestions made were around the social use of the canal and how people can interact with the space, so we are collaborating with the Canal & River Trust to provide children's activity packs for residents and families, to independently learn about the canal.

    We ask that you let us know how useful they are, whether you would enjoy more tailored independent learning packs, and what that would look like in the future.

    Download your pack here.

  • Meet Anita our Harlesden Community Coordinator

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    We’re delighted to welcome Anita Whittaker to the Harlesden Canalside project team as our Local Community Coordinator. Anita will work with the team to assist, plan, develop and run an exciting programme of events and activities for the project. As a 3rd generation Harlesden resident and an active member of the local community, Anita will play a key part in the engagement and prototyping phase, where the team will work will local people and groups to discuss, experiment and determine what uses would be most suitable and sustainable for Harlesden Canalside.

    Watch the video to find out more about the work Anita is doing and her role in the project.




  • Local Community Coordinator

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    3Space and We Made That are hiring a Local Community Coordinator to join our team to assist, plan, develop and run a programme of events and activities for the Harlesden Canalside project.

    Are you early in your career and keen to build your skills in coordinating public engagement and events? Do you have direct links to networks of local young and under represented people in the area?

    Applications are now closed.

  • Brent & Kilburn Times

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    The Harlesden Canalside project was recently featured in the Brent & Kilburn Times and the article can be found here.