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Canada Water: Why 2024 is a significant year for British Land’s regeneration scheme

Developer’s joint venture with AustralianSuper is set to see a bridge and market hall open up

An artist’s impression of Asif Khan’s bridge across Canada Dock

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Large regeneration projects are a marathon, not a race.

Their benefits often appear incrementally – a crescendo building to something truly revolutionary for an area transforming the lives of those who live and work in it.   

So it is with British Land’s epic 12-year plan for 53 acres of Canada Water and 2024 is set to be the year where a number of the project’s key parts will arrive. 

As those who’ve already read this piece will know, the first of up to 3,000 homes to be delivered across the site are now on sale.

But this article is about more immediate, material changes that are coming.

Nearing completion, for example, are the luxurious red curves of Asif Khan’s boardwalk, dipping pond and pergola which form the centrepiece of a package of improvements to Canada Dock itself.

Those arriving at the station will be confronted by an enriched waterside habitat replete with reed beds, benches and steps down to the dock edge – all aimed at boosting biodiversity, water quality and access to the blue stuff.

But these installations aren’t just a pretty gimmick – they’re a practical statement of intent, guiding visitors more directly towards what will be the new town centre.

In the meantime, the bridge will also bring people to a new foodie destination that is expected to open up at Surrey Quays Shopping Centre.

“While we’re waiting to redevelop it, we’re in the process of taking back the unit that’s currently home to The Range,” said Emma Cariaga, joint head of Canada Water at British Land

“We’re going to convert that into a food, beverage and cultural space, which will start to be symbolic of the sort of programmes we’ll be running locally.

“That will be in place before Christmas and the bridge is set to open around September time. 

“Both should be open before we complete on our first buildings at the end of the year and will be a really good amenity for them.

British Land’s joint head of Canada Water, Emma Cariaga

“They too will have restaurants and cafés on the ground floor – overlooking the water at the front and spilling out into a courtyard at the back.

“What we consistently hear from residents locally is that they love Canada Water but what they need in the short term is more places to eat and drink.

Canada Water Cafe and Leadbelly’s are excellent and this new opening should be phenomenal.

“We also took back a Victorian building near The Engineering And Design Institute to the east of our site, which has now reopened as The Pacific Tavern pub – a grill and barbecue concept that’s doing really well.”

All this speaks to a key benefit of having a single developer involved with a project for a significant period of time. 

British Land, now backed by the financial muscle of pension fund AustralianSuper, knows it has to deliver a consistent, compelling pipeline of amenities and attractions with visitors as much as it is future residents. 

Fortunately it has both the time, money and imagination to do this, having already altered its scheme to include the retention and upgrading of Printworks London as a venue.

“We’ve worked really well with Broadwick, which has run the venue – it surpassed all our hopes and dreams of what it could become,” said Emma.

“It’s seen millions of people pass through its doors over the past six years and, while it’s become best known for electronic dance music, we’ve also had the Canadian Royal Ballet, Secret Cinema, the BBC Proms and a whole range of product launches, conferences and studios using it as a filming location.

“This diversity really gave us confidence that we wanted to keep it as part of the project.

“Ultimately people will come to Canada Water because they live here or work here – but the key to success is also to get them to visit because they enjoy what’s here.

“Printworks has done that – we’ve had visitors not only from across London and the UK but also internationally.

“It has that kind of reach. It will be a catalyst for the site’s ongoing development.”

In addition to housing, plans for Canada Water include some 2million sq ft of office space, 650,000sq ft of retail and leisure space and 12 acres of new public space.

“We’ll be delivering a really healthy mix – somewhere that people will want to live and work, but also great places to come out and enjoy themselves,” said Emma. 

“We have lots of open spaces all around us with Southwark Park on our western boundary and Russia Dock Woodland to the east.

“Then we’ve got our own spaces including the most significant which is a new public park of three-and-a-half-acres. 

How the first phase of Canada Water will look when exiting the Tube station

“That will be delivered alongside Printworks and we hope to start work before the end of the year once we’ve got planning permission.

“Construction will then take about two years.”

Alongside the cultural venue, Printworks is expected to house 158,000sq ft of flexible workspace, and boast 10,000sq ft of external terraces on its third and sixth floors with views across London. 

Also mooted is a full complement of food and drink establishments to keep both visitors and workers appropriately sated.

Coming sooner to the overall scheme will be The Dock Shed – one of the buildings delivered as part of phase one.

Located next to residential tower The Founding, and just a few seconds from the station, this combines 180,000sq ft of office space over five floors with a new leisure centre to be run by Southwark Council. 

This includes pools, sports courts and a gym spread over the basement and ground floor of the structure.

“We’re really pleased to have this facility, which includes an eight-lane, 25m pool because it will provide constant footfall,” said Emma.

That’s something that, with all these plans progressing, is only set to increase in the years to come. 

key details

The Canada Water masterplan covers 53 acres of space on the Rotherhithe peninsula and will see a new high street and shopping destination created alongside 3,000 homes.

Find out more about the plans here

Read more: How Kircket is set to bring its Indian cuisine to Canary Wharf

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via
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Canary Wharf: How The Pelligon breathes new life into the East Wintergarden

Broadwick has refurbished and renamed Cesar Pelli’s events space, making it a blank canvas for organisers

The East Wintergarden has been renamed The Pelligon – image Henry Woide

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Having served the Canary Wharf estate for 21 years, the East Wintergarden is no more.

Well, not exactly. The exaggerated steel and glass barrel vault of the events venue’s roof will continue to preside over functions – but new operator Broadwick has given the place a makeover.    

The Pelligon – renamed for the building’s architect, Cesar Pelli – has seen its original interior replaced with a more functional, blank canvas – leaving clients free to dress and adapt the space to their needs.

Gone is the zig-zag marble floor, the warm brown panelling, the glass balustrades and Cesar’s trademark stainless steel.

Instead Broadwick has gone for white cladding and a practical dark rubber underfoot with a lighting rig tastefully sprayed in unobtrusive matte black. 

“Canary Wharf Group is quite keen on developing culture on the estate and, now we’ve moved our office to Wood Wharf and launched Broadwick Studio underneath, this looked like a good opportunity to bring the East Wintergarden into the 21st century,” said Simon Tracey, group CEO at Broadwick, during a sneak peek of the venue this month.

“We’ve gone for a very simple palette, trying to make it as neutral and hybrid as possible, that is our strategy.

The interior of the venue has been given a neutral makeover with new spiral staircases so guests can easily access the mezzanine level – image Spaces And Stories

“You could do literally anything in this space and we’ve installed state-of-the-art production facilities to make that as easy as possible.

“What we try to do is to imagine making events simple for organisers – so The Pelligon has got great access and is a totally blank canvas space, allowing brands to put their stamp on the place – it’s very exciting.

“We’ve done three things to the building itself.

“We’ve simplified the colour scheme and brought it up to date.

“We’ve improved the flow of the venue – the mezzanine used only to be accessible from outside the main hall, so we’ve put in two staircases and we’re also now using the front doors as the front doors.

“Then finally, we’ve updated the back of house facilities including extending the kitchen facilities, which were previously too small to cater for the kind of events people wanted to do here.

“We’ve given it everything it needs to operate as a modern day venue with a vibrant feel.”

Following its rebirth as The Pelligon, Wharfers can expect a number of public events as well as private affairs – delivering a bit of a cultural boost to the southern edge of the estate.

“The original East Wintergarden was designed as a utility space for Canary Wharf, but I think even they would say it’s a fantastic location in need of updating,” said Simon.

The mezzanine level can now be accessed from the main hall – image Spaces And Stories

“What they were interested in, when talking to us, was preserving it as an amazing space for conferences and weddings, but also attracting brand experiences and launches.

“We’ll also be working to our skill-set in terms of music and consumer-led awards ceremonies, jazz festivals and gigs. 

“Now the space is more of a blank canvas – it opens it up and Canary Wharf is turning into a place where people don’t just come to work, but also to visit, to live and play.

“We’re very much part of that journey.

“Because of the type of business Broadwick is, when people come to our offices, they are routinely amazed by what Canary Wharf has become.

“From a predominantly financial business district, it’s changed into something entirely different and a thriving residential area.

“People need culture and – Broadwick believes that and Canary Wharf Group believes it. Collectively we can bring that to the estate.”

Located minutes from the main Jubilee line exit and a short walk from Canary Wharf’s Elizabeth Line station, The Pelligon is well placed for incoming audiences as well as local businesses who may wish to use the waterside venue for their own events.

It’s a venue Broadwick is keen to see thrive, having relocated its operation to the Wharf while British Land works on updating Printworks London at Canada Water – part of a 12-year regeneration of 53 acres on the other side of the river.

But the completion of that project – expected in 2027 – won’t see Broadwick abandon the Wharf.

“We will be moving our entertainment team back there, because it will once again become a big venue – but we’ll be retaining staff here,” said Simon.

“We have a lot of venues across east London and there seem to be a lot of opportunities in this part of the capital.

“Broadwick has its heritage in festivals and we’re still in that world, but those events can be very up and down.

“One wet date and it takes the business a couple of years to recover.

“What running venues does is enable you both to control the weather and to finesse what it is you’re doing in those places every single week.

“With annual festivals you have a debrief, you learn things, but it takes an entire year to put them into practice.

“With a venue, we can sit down right away and analyse what went well and what didn’t. Did we have enough bars?

“Were there enough toilets? What was the customer experience like?

“Were the staffing numbers right? What was the feedback on socials?

The Pelligon dressed for an event – image Spaces And Stories

“We’re fanatical about that process and we can react immediately.

“What’s most important for Broadwick is creating amazing experiences for people and running venues allows us to do that better.

“We’re also a property development company at heart.

“We’ll look at opportunities, develop spaces, turn them into events and leisure venues – then put our own content in and take them to market.

“We’re always interested in talking to as many people as possible because we’re not big enough on our own to activate all our venues. 

“Fortunately there’s a whole world of brands, corporates, film and TV companies who we love to work with.

“Our model is to build these spaces and develop them so they are as good as they can be. Then we’ll back them by using them ourselves and work with other people as well.”

Into that mix drops The Pelligon.

But what will Broadwick’s clients do with it?

key details

The Pelligon is now available for event bookings including conferences, brand launches, performances and weddings.

The venue can accommodate up to 1,000 guests depending on the set-up and extends to some 900sq m of space.

Find out more about The Pelligon here

Read more: How Kircket is set to bring its Indian cuisine to Canary Wharf

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via
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Canary Wharf: How Broadwick Studio delivers total flexibility at Wood Wharf

Company’s street level events venue and meeting suite has launched at east London’s Water Street

Broadwick Studio is located at the junction of Water Street and Charter Street on Wood Wharf

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The ability to see what isn’t yet there, is arguably Broadwick’s talent as a company.

Having built a portfolio of festivals, the business took a change of direction in 2019, opting to focus on physical event spaces.

Its current portfolio boasts a plethora of venues, many of which are spread across Docklands and east London.

These include the purpose-built temporary structure Magazine on Greenwich Peninsula, former warehouse Dock X in Canada Water and The Beams and Silverworks Island at Royal Docks – one a former industrial sugar store and the other a vast outdoor show ground with Millennium Mills as a backdrop.

While all are essentially blank canvas spaces, they also have something else about them. Magazine looks out over the Thames with Canary Wharf in the background, Dock X sits at the heart of a massive regeneration scheme, The Beams is beside one of Tate & Lyle’s sugar factories and Silverworks boasts an astounding view of Docklands structures past and present. 

While clients are free to brand and mould the spaces exactly how they want, the venues are also of and in their surroundings, granting them potent identities all of their own. 

A visitor might watch a drone show outside at Magazine, but they’ll remember the little craft soaring above the Canary Wharf skyline in the shadow of The O2.

The venue has been designed as a blank canvas

Typically, the vibe is modern, minimal and industrial. Nowhere was this more true than at Broadwick’s flagship venue Printworks London – with events taking place in the stripped-back press halls at Canada Water’s Harmsworth Quays.

Here, from 1989, Associated Newspapers’ publications rattled off enormous machines, 24-hours a day.

Originally intended only for temporary events use, it proved so successful as a venue, that developer British Land is currently in the process of making it a permanent part of its regeneration of the area

Which brings us to Broadwick Studio, the company’s latest space.

With Printworks out of action as works are carried out, the company needed a new home and relocated to offices at 30 Water Street on Wood Wharf.

“When development started we began looking for a new space – we already had a great relationship with Canary Wharf as we were operating the East Wintergarden,” said Elisa Chiodi, Broadwick’s managing director for spaces, innovation and growth.

“We thought having our company here would be a great position to be in.

“We are an entertainment, space and culture organisation and it felt like a great addition to the mix of companies which are based here.

“We love it – it’s easy to get here.

“The team enjoys the fact the Wharf is full of restaurants and shops.

Broadwick’s Elisa Chiodi

“It’s also that 30 Water Street is a very beautiful space – it’s very much us as a company.

“We always look for places that are Broadwick – we always try and find spaces we can turn into a good representation of who we are.

“We’re very minimalist and pared-back.

“We believe in energy and agility, so all of our spaces can be turned into almost anything at any moment.

“Being simple and flexible in everything we do is really important.

“We’re very open – nobody at Broadwick has an office, not even our CEO – and that works for us. 

“We’re also very bold – when we make something, people know it’s us.”

Given that ethos, Wharfers won’t be too surprised to discover that the company has decided to launch a ground floor facility below its offices.

Broadwick Studio includes three meeting rooms and a main event space, with full height glass walls, which can more or less be used for anything.

“We want there to be a reason why people come to the places where we are,” said Elisa.

“We thought: ‘What better than a new venue at Wood Wharf?’.

“We’ve also found that Canary Wharf Group0 is really keen to work with us to have some community activities happening here – that new talent can use the space, perhaps artists, designers or musicians.

Broadwick Studio has plug and play facilities including lighting and a full kitchen

“We really have an open view on what will happen at Broadwick Studio.

“It could be a meeting space, host workshops, product launches, parties – anything.

“We want to work with all kinds of companies in all sorts of industries, as well as community groups which might be interested in using the space as well as businesses hosting events or Christmas parties.”

Located on the corner of Water Street and Charter Street opposite Tribe Hotel, Broadwick Studio can accommodate up to 120 people for a standing reception.

It includes a fully-kitted out kitchen, bathroom facilities and two points of access to help manage the flow of guests.

While minimal in design, looks can be deceptive as the venue comes with some lighting, AV equipment and screens.

“The idea is to make it as plug-and-play as possible,” said Tara Quish, sales and events manager at Broadwick, who previously worked in events for restaurant brand D&D.

“We are completely flexible. If someone wants to do something, then we want them to get in touch.

“If it’s something we haven’t done before, we’d love to find a way to make it happen. 

Broadwick Studio’s suite of spaces includes three meeting rooms at ground level

“To make things simple, on-site furniture, event lighting and house production equipment is included with hire.

“That’s why we’ve decided to include a kitchen, to maximise what people can do in the space. 

“You can even paint the walls if you like, so long as you paint them back.”

With an extensive track record of managing events across its portfolio, Broadwick is also well-placed to offer companies assistance in sourcing firms to cater and produce their events in the space if needed.

Vibration Production, for example, can be called on to provide a wide range of technical services.

But Broadwick is also keen to help the space become part of the fabric of its surroundings.

“The buildings at Wood Wharf have a very different feel to other parts of the estate,” said Elisa. 

“It’s much more urban – and that’s one of the reasons we like being here – we are a very industrial kind of brand and this fits perfectly with what we do. 

“We have been here for less than a year but it feels like home to us and that’s why we wanted to do something. 

“One of the things that we want is for people to see what we do.

“We have a lot of clients who already want to use the space for branding opportunities – not just private events and it’s really well positioned for that. 

Broadwick Studio’s event space can be used for parties, presentations, launches, workshops and meetings

“But we also want to talk to people who live locally and to local artists about what we might do when there isn’t an event running – how we might give their work some exposure.

“Is there some way we can use Broadwick Studio to showcase what they do?”

 In addition to Broadwick Studio, the firm is also gearing up to relaunch the East Wintergarden in Bank Street.

Designed by architect Cesar Pelli – who was also responsible for One Canada Square – the building boasts a vaulted glass ceiling and sits overlooking West India South Dock.

Broadwick is set to officially reopen the venue in April as The Pelligon – a flexible space taking up to 1,000 people – this could be used for awards ceremonies, conferences, launches, filming, parties or weddings.

“It’s going to be something very different to how it’s been in the past,” said Elisa.

For now, it’s a case of watch this space, but Broadwick Studio is very much up and running already.

Those interested in booking an event at the space or collaborating with Broadwick should contact the firm for more details by calling 020 3725 6061.

Find out more about Broadwick here

The space can be curtained off from the street for more private gatherings

Read more: How Canary Wharf Group has launched Wharf Connect, a network for early career professionals

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via
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