Plans in place to begin transforming Harlesden canal side into a thriving business and community hub

Image of existing site at Harlesden canal. Picture: OPDC

Image of existing site at Harlesden canal. Picture: OPDC - Credit: Archant

Plans are afoot to transform the canal side in Harlesden complete with boating workshops and a market place.

Harlesden canal. Picture: OPDC

Harlesden canal. Picture: OPDC - Credit: Archant

The Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) is working with Brent Council and the Canal & River Trust (CRT) to improve the Grand Union Canal betweet Acton Lane and Steele Road.

The plans, part of a £1.2m boost from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund, include outdoor ‘pop-up’ recreational, work and leisure facilities, a public space and support for business and community activities.

Ideas for future use include a workshop for boaters, a canoe club base, a community hub and outdoor café or market space.

OPDC has appointed specialist community and commercial space operator, 3Space, and architects, We Made That, to work with local people on the project.

Harlesden canal. Picture: OPDC

Harlesden canal. Picture: OPDC - Credit: Archant

David Lunts, chief exec of the corporation, said: “Covid-19 has shown us that public outdoor space in London is more precious than ever and our plans will enable people from Harlesden and beyond to enjoy the benefits of the canal. This project will provide a greener, safer community space for residents and visitors, and also support local businesses.”

“The idea for regenerating Harlesden Canalside came from the local community and we are now reaching out to local groups, residents, businesses and boaters to decide exactly how this space should take shape,” Mr Lunts added.

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The corporation, founded by Boris Johnson in 2015 when he was Mayor of London, is responsible for the regeneration project covering 650 hectares.

Ros Daniels, CRT director for London & South East, said: “We know that people who spend time by the canal are healthier and happier and we are excited to see how this canal-side space will develop and come to life through the ideas of people who visit, live or work in Harlesden and Park Royal.”

Cllr Shama Tatler, Brent Council’s regeneration chief, added: “This is an area of Brent which is not only rich in history but also one brimming with potential for the future, so these plans are exciting and something really positive to look forward to.”

Due to Covid-19, OPDC will be consulting on the project remotely until it’s safe to do otherwise.


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