Open Havelock project

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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.

We are seeking expressions of interest from community groups and local organisations to work with us to transform disused parts of the estate into spaces for everyone.

We want to work with a wide range of providers to deliver a diverse set of services and activities that will bring benefit to the Havelock community both now and in the years to come.

Work to date and project funding

2017 – Application submitted to Mayor of London’s Good Growth programme.
2018 – Development funding awarded (Good Growth)
Oct 2018 – April 2019 – Feasibility study by Alison Crawshaw architects covering community engagement, site surveys, mapping and concept design proposals.
April 2019 – March 2020 – Project tested though activation of spaces and fundraising.
January 2020 – Planning permission granted.
March 2020 – 50% of project costs secured (Good Growth)
March 2020 – July 2021– Detailed design work, approvals, site surveys, fundraising and procurement completed.
September 2021 – 100% of funding confirmed (Match funding contributions from Catalyst, A2 Dominion, Sport England)
January -March 2022 – Rapid review of operational model by Redo consulting.
January 2022 – Five year fully subsidised lease agreed (Ealing Council). Works start on site.
August 2022 – Capital works complete.

Community engagement

The project is underpinned by in-depth engagement with the local community. During the feasibility stage, a ‘listening project’ formed a rich portrait of people’s perceptions and aspirations. Long form transcribed interviews, vox pops and podcasts produced by children from Havelock Primary school were conducted as part of the study.

The analysis identified many potential partners and programmes including sports, skill development, play, entrepreneurship, catering, music, and many others. Potential partners helped to co-design the detailed designs and operational plan.

Covid among other factors has impacted on the operating environment since the project started. A review of the project in summer 2021 tested the assumptions made at feasibility stage and re-evaluated potential uses for the site.

The Willowbrook block, Havelock Estate: The project site

The project site is part of the designated fourth phase of the wider development. It comprises the garages, undercrofts and gardens which dominate the ground floor of the Willowbrook blocks on the southwest of the estate. The project focuses on two spaces secured by fencing on the north and south of the block.

The site that has been adapted for reuse, originally comprised of 36 garages (20 on the north side and 16 on the south). The garages were 5.3m long x 2.6m wide with a floor to ceiling height of 2.4m. A 7.25m deep undercroft runs in front of the garages. The courtyard gardens are 290sqm (north) and 250 sqm (south).

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The Willowbrook block, Havelock Estate: New spaces

The northern end of the Willowbrook block has been converted into an enclosed and secure ‘secret garden’ play space. We imagine a vibrant programme of activities delivered by a range of schools, play associations and early years providers who work collaboratively as key holders.

On the west side, the garages have been converted into ‘double bay’ 30 sqm play rooms by removing non-structural walls. Toy library storage for play materials and learning resources is installed along the back walls. The undercroft provides a covered spill out space for play in all weathers and direct access into the garden. A kitchenette, toilet facility and baby change unit are also provided.

Workshop/studio spaces are to be developed on the east side. They will be completed in consultation with the end users subject to further funding. A small meeting room with kitchenette and adjacent toilet facilities are provided immediately.

The Grand Union canal runs past the south end of the block and is a huge asset to this part of the site. The project aims to improve the connectivity between the estate and the towpath by carrying out landscape and access improvements. Garages have been fitted with new roller shutter doors to provide secure space to store leisure equipment and items that facilitate physical activity. Changing rooms and accessible toilets and showers are provided.

On the west side, a muti-purpose room expands into the space beneath the undercroft with a prefabricated timber screen that opens directly into the garden. The space can host large exercises classes as well as exhibitions and community events. There is a community kitchen/cafe next to the multipurpose room.

The Willowbrook block, Havelock Estate: Spaces available

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Children’s garden and play rooms

Co-designed with local early years providers to meet the needs of children and young people, the secret garden, play rooms and shared spaces provide opportunities for creative and nature-led play and learning.

The garden has a naturalistic and dynamic feel and is well suited to outdoor classes and gardening activities.

The play rooms include a toy library where play materials and learning resources can be stored for regular use. These heated rooms are decorated in calm, pastel colours and have smooth resin flooring. Access to toilet, baby change and kitchen facilities is provided.

Each unit is available to license to an individual operator or alternatively, this side of the site can be licensed to a single operator or partnership of operators.

Leisure/sports base

With immediate access to the Grand Union Canal and the towpath, these spaces have been designed to provide a base for sport and leisure activities such as cycling, walking, paddle-boarding, rowing and kayaking.

There are a total of six secure units which can be used to store equipment. Accessible showers, toilets and changing rooms are provided as well as the undercrofts and garden for club or group activities and socialising.

Multipurpose room

The multipurpose room, a timber glazed room that opens out onto the garden, has been designed to meet a variety of community needs. It has a reclaimed timber gymnasium floor and mirrored back wall.

From exercises classes to exhibitions, community group meetings to birthday parties, the multipurpose room is available to hire on a one-off or regular basis.

A 10% discount is applied for regular bookings.

Willowbrook Road residents or members of the Good Neighbours group will be granted free use of the space. Booking in advance and user conditions will apply. Use of the adjacent community kitchen can be included in the hire.

Community kitchen

Designed to meet the needs of Havelock-based food start-ups and individuals, the community kitchen provides a space for pop-up enterprises to test their ideas and menus.

In addition, the space can be used for local groups to come together and socialise around food. Activities could include use of surplus food to support those in need, or training and education classes.

Southall Manor House has a professional kitchen which could be part of a joined-up programme to connect the estate with the centre of Southall.

The community kitchen is available for one-off or regular hire. A 10% discount is applied for regular bookings. Willowbrook Road residents or members of the Good Neighbours group will be granted free use of the space. Booking in advance and user conditions will apply. Use of the adjacent multi-purpose room can be included in the hire.


The individual secure units at Willowbrook North open into the undercrofts and would suit a small community of makers, fixers, creatives, microbusinesses and growers.

So far, works to this part of the site have included providing access, secure doors, installing CCTV and services. Basic toilet and kitchen facilities are provided. Further works based on the needs of operators will be scoped and separately funded.

There are a total of eight secure units which can be licensed individually or alternatively, this side of the site can be licensed to a single operator or partnership of operators.

Communal facilities

All operators will have access to shared facilities that the site provides. This includes access to kitchens, toilets, the undercrofts and garden spaces. On the south side this also includes the changing rooms and shower facilities. The site has CCTV and an intruder alarm system. A telephone line and wifi is available.

The project site will be managed by Catalyst who will provide cleaning, gardening, security, and utility services to operators. Ealing Council provide the building insurance and waste collection services.

All operators are required to sign a key holder agreement granting access to and setting expectations for use of the shared spaces. All operators are expected to have their own contents and public liability insurance.

Terms of use

Cost recovery

Open Havelock is conceived as a community project. It has secured substantial grant funding for the capital works and a five-year fully subsidised lease from the Council to operate.

This rental subsidy is passed on to operators and no capital costs need to be recovered.

Space is made available on a cost recovery basis. This means that the project is not-for-profit but aims to recover running costs.

Occupation and use charges will apply to one off/regular hire of the multipurpose room and community kitchen and to the licenses for occupiers of single uses spaces.

Occupation and use charges cover the cost of:
• Water and electrical supply
• Cleaning
• Gardening
• CCTV and intruder alarms
• Phone and Wi-Fi
• Maintenance and statutory testing
• Business rates

We have estimated this cost to be circa £40,000 per year across the site and this has been split according to size, typology and services provided to each of the spaces available. The table on the next page outlines the cost for use of each space. Actual costs will be monitored and may increase or decrease according to actual spend on an annual basis.

No retrospective charges will apply.

Licenses and hire agreements

Licenses will be issued to all occupiers of single use spaces. Licenses will be issued on a 12-month basis with three months calendar notice required to terminate. A deposit of two months occupation and use charge is required to secure the space.

Hire agreements will be issued to all regular/one off users of the multi-purpose room and community kitchen.

A key holder agreement will apply to all licenses and hirers covering responsibilities and principles for shared use of the communal spaces.

In line with the project funders’ requirements and to meet the terms of the Council’s subsidy, there will be an obligation on all users to provide output and outcome data to help Catalyst demonstrate the social impact of the project. This will likely include participant and volunteer numbers, training and events delivered and any outcomes resulting from services and activities delivered from the space.

Occupation and use charges

Type of spaceType of letNumber of
SizeCost per
month per
Cost per hour
per unit
Potential uses
Multi purpose room
(heated and ventilated)
One off or regular use12079 sqft£14Training and gym, exhibitions, exercise classes and
community meetings
(heated and ventilated)
One off or regular use1297 sqft£10Pop-ups, food projects, training, events
Play rooms
(heated and ventilated)
Single let on 12 month basis4297 sqft£224Community use and play, learning, education and early
year provision
Leisure store unit
Single let on 12 month basis6148 sqft£124Leisure, sport and other recreational activities including
water based sports
Workshop unit
Single let on 12 month basis8148 sqft£99Making, micro selling, artist studio, bike fixing and

Application process

The Expression of Interest (EOI) process requires all interested organisations and individuals to complete a short form to explain how they respond to selection criteria which can be found on the website.

A points-based system will be used to evaluate the EOI responses. This system will also prepare potential tenants for the conditions that will be included within the sub-license and/or hire agreements. There are three different criteria which apply, including:
• Project alignment or ‘core’ criteria. This is designed to ensure organisations or individuals using the space are the right fit for the project
• Ability to pay criteria. This is to ensure all users can pay a contribution to the costs for running the spaces, including cleaning, security, utilities and bookings.
• Use type criteria. This ensures the project will provide a diverse mix of different uses which serve a local need, and that collaboration with other users is encouraged.

The EOI form includes a detailed breakdown of the scoring criteria


Although this programme may be subject to change, Catalyst is presently working to the following milestones:
July 2022 – Launch ‘Expression of Interest’ opportunity
August 2022 – Marketing of available units
Virtual Open Day for interested occupiers – Friday 19 August – register to take part: Eventbrite link to follow.
On site Open Day for interested occupiers – Tuesday 6 September – register to take part: Eventbrite link to follow
Completion of capital works
Sunday 11 September – Deadline for submissions
September 2022 – Evaluate submissions
September 2022 – Hire agreements and licenses issued
Open House Walking Tour – Wednesday 14 September. Book online.
October 2022 – Occupation commences

Further information

To sign up for the open day, arrange a viewing or ask any questions please contact Nicola Wheeler.
To keep up to date on the project and for news, please visit the Open Havelock community centre page.