The £1 million Open Havelock project will see 36 empty garages in the Willowbrook blocks refurbished to create amenities which will benefit the entire Southall community, transforming disused parts of the estate into spaces for everyone.
Work began in early February and is likely to take about six months. The initiative aims to address several issues which local people have raised about life on the estate. These include poor environment quality, anti-social behaviour and a lack of facilities for young people.
The new facilities are being delivered in partnership by Ealing Council, housing association Catalyst, City Hall, and the Canal and River Trust, with substantial input from the local community. The project has been awarded over £600,000 in funding from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund, with support from the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP) to contribute towards the cost of the community facilities. Further funding was also secured from Catalyst, Sports England, A2 Dominion and LHC‘s Community Benefit Fund.
Award winning architect
The project has been designed by award winning architect Alison Crawshaw with sustainability to the fore. By refurbishing and repurposing buildings, only the most essential and transformative elements of construction are required, and demolished materials will be reclaimed and reused wherever possible.
The scheme will also improve the stretch of the Grand Union Canal that passes by the estate by regenerating the towpath and creating a new ramped access that will connect the canal to the courtyards at the Havelock’s Willowbrook buildings.
Phase one of the regeneration of homes of the Havelock estate has been completed by Catalyst in partnership with the council. The work, which first got under way in 2015, has so far seen 289 new homes built at the site, including 136 homes for let at social rents. Catalyst and Ealing Council are currently reviewing the plans for the next phases of the development.
Great options for exercise and socialising
Cllr Shital Manro, Ealing Council’s cabinet member for good growth said: “By repurposing this site while its long-term use is decided, the Open Havelock project will make best use of the resources and space available to us. We are determined to ensure that local people in the west of our borough can easily access high quality options for exercising and socialising. These new facilities will help pull the community together and provide a sense of belonging for residents.”
Nicola Wheeler, head of community investment at Catalyst, said: “This will have real impact on the local area and its residents, and I would like to personally thank everyone that has so far taken the time to be involved in what I’m sure will be a hugely successful community-led project. I and the rest of the Catalyst team can’t wait to see it progress over the next few months as the work gets off the ground.”
Deputy mayor of London for planning, regeneration and skills, Jules Pipe, said: “The Open Havelock project will provide a new community asset, creating opportunities for play, sport and recreation, developing partnerships, skills and enterprise, as well as fostering a strong sense of local pride. Local residents will be able to enjoy a range of excellent facilities on their doorstep whilst plans progress on the long-term future of the Havelock estate in Southall.
“This is just one of the great initiatives we’ve funded through the Good Growth Fund, City Hall’s flagship regeneration programme. I’m confident the impact of the project will bring tangible benefits to the community as well as informing the longer-term strategy for the estate.”
You can find more information on Open Havelock here.