Southall's Grand Union Canal To Become 'Wellbeing Way'

Project receives £700,000 funding for improvements

The canal towpath in Southall


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The Grand Union Canal and a chain of nearby green spaces in Southall are set to host a new 'Wellbeing Way'.

A £700,000 grant has been given for changes which aim to encourage local people to use the area to be more active, while enhancing the biodiversity and climate resilience of the area.

The project, which will run until 2024, will connect Spikes Bridge Park on the Grand Union Canal Paddington Arm in the northwest of Southall via the Bull’s Bridge canal junction through to Glade Lane Canalside Park and the Hanwell Lock Flight, linking Bankside, Southall Recreation Ground, Bixley Field and Havelock Canalside space on the way.

Waterways and wellbeing charity Canal & River Trust, Ealing Council, housing association Catalyst, and Ealing Council’s Sport England funded Let’s Go Southall project, are working together to transform the canal towpaths and have received Green and Resilient Spaces funding from the Mayor of London, Sadiq Kahn.

The Southall Grand Union Canal Wellbeing Way will be green corridor that wraps around Southall. The funding will be used to integrate the canal with nearby green spaces and to carry out a series of changes, including creating new habitats for wildlife, works to the towpath to improve the surface and allow better access to the canal, play and interpretation, flood resilience, and gardening and stewardship to allow nature and people to thrive.

Active volunteering participation will be encouraged and it is promised that members of the local community will continue to be involved designing changes to the area.

Ros Daniels, regional director for Canal & River Trust, said, “Spending time by the water makes people healthier and happier, and the Southall Grand Union Canal Wellbeing Way is a fantastic opportunity to make a real difference to the wellbeing of the local community. Each green and blue place will provide a unique point of interest and opportunity for people to get to know, love and care for their canal and its surrounding spaces, through exploring, exercising, enjoying quality time with friends and family, getting involved in cultural activities, and creating and caring for gardens and wildlife habitat.

“Since the start of the pandemic, people have gravitated towards their local canal towpaths and green spaces and discovered the wellbeing benefits of being by water and connecting with nature. We know how important the canal and green spaces are for people in Southall to take a breath, take time out and spend time with others, as well as being active and outside. The new towpath will provide more space for everybody and have a better surface so the canal can be enjoyed in all weathers.”

Councillor Deirdre Costigan, Ealing Council cabinet member for climate action said, “This is a wonderful opportunity to transform and improve areas around the canal, providing spaces for local residents to enjoy. Open spaces are so important for health and wellbeing, and combining those open spaces with waterways can only be more beneficial.

“I’m really pleased that local residents have already been involved in the ideas stage of the Wellbeing Way and know there will be no shortage in volunteers going forward to come and take part in the development and ongoing nurturing of these spaces.”

To find out more or get involved visit the project webpage.

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March 31, 2022

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