Part of Grand Union to be ‘Wellbeing Way’

Published: Monday, 28 March 2022

THE Grand Union Canal at Southall is to be transformed into ‘Wellbeing Way’.

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 surrounding green spaces in West London, with it hoped that 'the improvements will provide opportunities for Southall’s community and visitors to lead more active lives and boost their wellbeing, while enhancing the biodiversity and climate resilience of the area'.

£700,000 funding

This new 'Wellbeing Way', is supported by Green and Resilient Spaces funding of £700,000 announced by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Kahn.

We are told the Southall Grand Union Canal Wellbeing Way is a green corridor that wraps around Southall, allowing local people to step away from the urban streets and connect with nature. The funding will be used to integrate the canal with nearby green spaces and to carry out a series of enrichments, including waterside place-making, 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'.

Ros Daniels, Regional Director for Canal & River Trust, explained:

GUSouthall'Healthier and happier'

“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.”

'Green and blue thread'

The project, we are informed, will draw a green and blue thread connecting Spikes Bridge Park on the Grand Union Canal Paddington Arm in the north west 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.

The project will take place between 2022 and 2024 and develop a legacy of wellbeing activities for the Southall community.