Former East London Industrial Site Could Become Swimming Ponds

By Jun Li Last edited 21 months ago

Last Updated 03 August 2022

Former East London Industrial Site Could Become Swimming Ponds
A picture of 12 members of East London Waterworks Park.
Members of East London Waterworks Park. Image: ELWP

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.

A concept drawing of a proposed biodiverse park in East London.
Concept drawing of the new park. Image: ELWP

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.

A diagram showing how an old industrial site would be transformed into a new biodiverse park.
Proposed changes to the old concrete-filled land. Image: ELWP

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.

A picture of a proposed communal space in ELWP's potential biodiverse park.
Concept drawing of a communal space. Image: ELWP

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.

A list of rewards for donating to ELWP's crowdfunding campaign, ranging from contributing £50 to £50,000.
Rewards for donating to the crowdfunding campaign. Image: ELWP

The fundraiser currently sits at about £80,000 . To donate to this project, visit ELWP's Crowdfunder website.