The Plans, The Ideas
For a long-time now The Sharks have been looking for a “home of our own” and a base in Southall has been key to where we want to be.
We have a number of projects that are being developed across West London, but let’s look at what is being planned in Southall.
There are a number of disused garages in Willowbrook Road, which from an undercroft, basically a roofed area for the cars to tun into the garages. Above the undercroft are houses. The undercrofts are adjacent to the Canal just along from where we currently meet on the green at Southall on Havelock Road.
What we are looking to do is to convert the garages into a club house, with boat storage, changing rooms, Club facilities/gym/community room, café etc. So far the idea and the plans have attracted a lot of attention and funding opportunities are, with the London Mayor’s Good Growth Fund, contributing £500,000 to the Open Havelock Project, which the Canoe Club is part of.
The Project is part of the regeneration of Havelock Estate, which is a partnership between Ealing Council and Catalyst Housing and is designed to bring back derelict space into community use. The project is truly inspirational and credit should be given to the people who have shown true vision in what can be possible.
So far some work has been done, some of the garages have been converted for boat stair age and new doors put on and The Sharks are hoping to start using these as soon as restrictions are lifted regarding the Coronavirus. Many thanks to Catalyst Housing for undertaking this work.
The next stages are to start installing the other facilities, for which detailed plans have been drawn up and submitted.
Open Havelock News, gives an overview of the whole project. Relevant details from the document are pasted below for your information.
We have been working with Ealing Council who own the site, Sport England to help finance some of the project and are still discussing with other funders to ensure this project can go ahead as soon as possible, unfortunately the current Cover-19 restrictions are slowing down progress, but as soon as restrictions are lifted we hope to be ready to move forward as quickly as possible. Whilst we have had to stop all or sessions, we are still working behind the scenes from splendid isolation to ensure as much preparation (paper work) as possible can be done.
The letters we have had in support of this project are worth reading, they reflect so well on our members and staff.
The Sharks still have other projects at other sites being developed, although again they are being affected by the current crisis and some are on hold whilst others are proceeding where possible. We will keep updating you as these projects progress.
In Harlesden and Park Royal we are operating from our container which was moved from Spikes Bridge, Southall in a project supported by the Old Oak Common and Park Royal Development Corporation. Long-term we hope to have permanent premises, but in the mid-term and as a permanent feature going forward we are looking to have a boat as a club facility.
Our Slalom and Wild Water Racing teams have been based at Harefield since the Club started, initially taking the kit out for each session but we now have a base at Harefield using facilities at Troy Lake, which is owned by Rickmansworth Sailing Club. We will be working to improve the facilities and what we can offer at this location. There are big ideas afoot, but in the current situation everything is on hold, but please do watch this space …
We have also been involved in the planning for development around Shackles Dock in Hayes, with the intention of their being a facility at the Dock for us, provided by the developers as part of the planning conditions. However, there have been delays in this project because of the economic uncertainty following the Brexit vote and now with the unknown fall economic fall out from the Coronavirus, new development programmes are facing an uncertain time.