Kensal Canalside

Supporting local creative and civil society enterprises

We Made That led on a spatial framework for the expansion of Kensal’s creative economy as part of Kensal Canalside Opportunity Area. This expansive research and delivery project, supported by the Mayor’s Good Growth Fund, focuses on the potential for new employment space that creates opportunities for creative and civil society organisations to respond more effectively to local needs in North Kensington.

There are at least 70 charities located in Kensal, employing almost 800 people. There is an opportunity for strong links between the creative and civil society sectors in the area, particularly in the context of post-Grenfell recovery. Clear objectives emerged to support these organisations to respond to local needs, whilst also helping them interface with the opportunity presented by a strong creative sector.

Through detailed research into the area’s economy, We Made That developed a framework and delivery plan for opportunities in the short and medium term.

New clustering of creative and cultural uses

The team subsequently developed proposals for a new creative and civil society workspace building, due to be delivered in 2022.

The workspace is intended to accommodate a variety of employment space typologies from light industrial maker space to office-type units. The proposed construction system is underpinned by circular economy principles, carefully considering waste and embodied carbon in the process of delivering and potentially dismantling and reusing building components at the end of its lifespan.

Co-location of creative economy workspace and housing

Canalside House – in the project area - is a locally significant site for the creative and civic society economies and local jobs, with a need to adapt for the future. As a Council-owned site adjacent to private ownership and development interests, it is strategically positioned at the entrance to the Opportunity Area.

The strategic masterplanning and delivery proposals were supported with an innovative programme of public engagement, with the ‘Kensal Voices’ podcast delivered with local charity partners, Octavia, to include younger participants in the conversation about and shaping of the future of their area.

Project Details

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Spatial framework completed 2020
Workspace proposals 2021 - ongoing




We Made That, Hatch Regeneris, PRD, Graham Harrington Planning Advice, 3Space, Stockdale


Octavia Foundation ("Kensal Voices" engagement local partner)