Swimming ponds could be coming to a former industrial site in east London.
East London Waterworks Park (ELWP) is holding a crowdfunding campaign to buy the 5.68-hectare Thames Water Depot, an industrial site on the border of Hackney and Waltham, in the hopes of transforming it into a community-owned, biodiverse park with 5,000 square meters of ponds, which could accommodate 1,000+ swimmers a day.
The site currently lies dormant, after plans to build two free schools never came to life. Now, ELWP seeks to buy the land to use it to support the "health and well-being" of the community.
What can we expect to see?
ELWP hopes to create naturally self-cleaning swimming ponds, as well as a communal space for discussion and collaboration, a cafe and a forest school space for children to play and explore.
ELWP says 'sustainability, decarbonisation and enhancing the natural environment' are the heart of their philosophy; the park would run on renewable energy — generated from solar panels and hydropower — and improve biodiversity and air quality, by introducing nature back to the space.
The ultimate goal of the park, say ELWP, is to connect the local community with each other and with nature, inspiring people to believe they too can "turn an unloved piece of land into a wildlife haven."
Where do we go from here?
ELWP already successfully funded their first crowdfunding campaign back in March 2021, but need to raise another £1 million through crowdfunding for the project to continue.
The fundraiser currently sits at about £80,000 . To donate to this project, visit ELWP's Crowdfunder website.