Harlesden Canalside

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A new canalside destination in Harlesden for locals and boaters

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

Background

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.

The public space improvements are due to be delivered in the second half of 2022.



Harlesden Canalside in its current condition.


The story so far

To kick off our engagement we recruited a local person (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 those we may not have been able to engage with, for a truly grassroots approach. You can read more about Anita in 'Meet the Team'.

We have engaged with local residents, boaters and businesses through a range of consultation and co-design activities to understand what could happen in this space, and what uses would be most viable. We want plans to be driven by the community, with the team guiding the direction of the project 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!

Outcome from engagement

Conversations with stakeholders and members of the local community so far have helped us identify the priorities for the the space, listed below:

  1. A Canal Garden looking out over the water and wildlife, with improved and more biodiverse planting and seating, and an outdoor gym;
  2. A space with seating for outdoor activities and events;
  3. Improved facilities for The Sharks Canoe Club, with more storage space, new stairs leading from their storage container down to the canal, and a dedicated pontoon for safe access to the canal;
  4. Towpath widening at key pinch points;
  5. Dedicated moorings for community organisations;
  6. Facilities for boaters to empty toilets, fill up drinking water, and do small repairs.

The Harlesden Canalside project area

How you can still get involved

We are currently collating all feedback and finalising the plans for the area, and there is still time for you to have your say. Engagement will continue throughout the design and planning stages through a dedicated Sounding Board Group and consultation events. Anita is your go-to person for anyone interested in getting involved in helping us shape this project.

We are really keen to hear from residents, boaters and businesses who want to be involved in the project. Especially those with an interest in using the space for outdoor activities and events. Please contact Anita to register your interest.




A new canalside destination in Harlesden for locals and boaters

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

Background

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.

The public space improvements are due to be delivered in the second half of 2022.



Harlesden Canalside in its current condition.


The story so far

To kick off our engagement we recruited a local person (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 those we may not have been able to engage with, for a truly grassroots approach. You can read more about Anita in 'Meet the Team'.

We have engaged with local residents, boaters and businesses through a range of consultation and co-design activities to understand what could happen in this space, and what uses would be most viable. We want plans to be driven by the community, with the team guiding the direction of the project 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!

Outcome from engagement

Conversations with stakeholders and members of the local community so far have helped us identify the priorities for the the space, listed below:

  1. A Canal Garden looking out over the water and wildlife, with improved and more biodiverse planting and seating, and an outdoor gym;
  2. A space with seating for outdoor activities and events;
  3. Improved facilities for The Sharks Canoe Club, with more storage space, new stairs leading from their storage container down to the canal, and a dedicated pontoon for safe access to the canal;
  4. Towpath widening at key pinch points;
  5. Dedicated moorings for community organisations;
  6. Facilities for boaters to empty toilets, fill up drinking water, and do small repairs.

The Harlesden Canalside project area

How you can still get involved

We are currently collating all feedback and finalising the plans for the area, and there is still time for you to have your say. Engagement will continue throughout the design and planning stages through a dedicated Sounding Board Group and consultation events. Anita is your go-to person for anyone interested in getting involved in helping us shape this project.

We are really keen to hear from residents, boaters and businesses who want to be involved in the project. Especially those with an interest in using the space for outdoor activities and events. Please contact Anita to register your interest.




  • 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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    supporting image

    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.

Page last updated: 29 November 2021, 12:25