OPDC key stakeholder and community update: Harlesden Canalside project

OPDC announces plans to transform Harlesden Canalside

Grand Union Canal

The OPDC, working in partnership with the London Borough of Brent and the Canal & River Trust, is planning exciting improvements to the Grand Union Canal between Acton Lane and Steele Road. 

The plans are being created in close collaboration with local residents and will include outdoor ‘pop-up’ recreational, work and leisure facilities, as well as new public space to bring life to the canal and support for a wide range of 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, architects, We Made That, to work with local people to scope and design the project. 

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. 

OPDC’s Chief Executive, David Lunts 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.”

Cllr Shama Tatler, Brent Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Property and Planning said: “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. They could help to breathe new life into the area, create new space for community activities, new business opportunities and create local jobs.
“As with all regeneration in Brent, we’re committed that it only happens with the input of local people and we look forward to hearing the views of local residents, businesses and community groups as these plans are taken forward.”

Canal & River Trust’s Director, London & South East, Ros Daniels, said: “As people are looking more and more to green space to support their wellbeing, the value of London’s canals as places to relax and enjoy, and also as vibrant destinations, is to be celebrated. 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.”

Due to Covid-19, OPDC has paused face-to-face engagement events and will be consulting on this project remotely until it’s safe to do otherwise. More information about our remote engagement will be available soon and representatives from 3Space will be reaching out to community groups in due course to begin consultation. In the meantime, if you are a resident or represent a local business or community organisation and would like to be involved , please contact OPDC by emailing info@opdc.london.gov.uk.