Our Local Investment

British Land is a long term investor in the Canada Water area, and we are committed to working with the community to ensure that the masterplan delivers a range of long-term benefits for those who live, work and visit here, both now and in the future. We have been thinking about the Canada Water Masterplan’s legacy along four themes, and below are some examples of our projects in each area. You can also visit our FAQs page and find out more on our local investment within the community.

Global Generation

We are working with Global Generation, an environmental education charity that supports young people to make a social and environmental difference by involving them in the co-creation of public spaces. We are working with local schools and existing community organisations, running educational workshops, and setting up the ‘Paper Garden’ community space in the Printworks, which hosts design, making, gardening, cooking and storytelling workshops. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved or volunteer! More information here: www.globalgeneration.org.uk/paper-garden/ or contact generate@globalgeneration.org.uk

Young Farmer’s Club

We’re a long term supporter of the Young Farmer’s Club at Surrey Docks Farm. The successful club runs every Saturday for 45 people aged 8-13 and teaches local young people about working with animals and how to grow their own food.

Urban Plan UK

The masterplan team have been working with Bacon’s College on the Urban Land Institute’s UrbanPlanUK programme, running a day of workshops which aim to bring urban planning and development to life through a challenging redevelopment simulation project of a fictional area. The students did fantastically – a massive thank you to all who took part including the teachers who supported the day.

National Literacy Trust

We have supported the National Literacy Trust’s Young Reader’s Programme for over six years, at various sites across the UK, including Surrey Quays. The programme encourages children to read for enjoyment and develop their literacy skills, which research shows can have a lifelong impact on health, confidence, employability and happiness. The programme works with local primary schools (with both Rotherhithe Primary and Peter Hills Primary taking part this year), and also includes storytelling and activities in the centre, with free books for the children to take home at the end.

Create, Art:Space Southwark

We have supported national charity, Create’s Art:Space project for several years now. This project works with young carers in Southwark to provide creative arts workshops for young people aged 6 – 14 who help care for a sibling with a disability. The project works with Imago, also a tenant upstairs in the shopping centre, with workshops and performances running over the summer.

Edible Rotherhithe

British Land supported Edible Rotherhithe’s architecture and design school which ran over Autumn 2018 on the Silverlock Estate.

The programme welcomed a group of nine local young people aged 16-24 to a week of hands-on learning and training where they created a mobile classroom for the Edible Rotherhithe gardening club. The free summer school was a pilot launched to give young people living, studying or accessing community services in the local area the opportunity to develop skills, knowledge and experience in the built environment. Participants benefited from practical experience of designing and building by working to a brief and exhibiting their work at the end of the programme. The programme was overseen by architects and chartered engineers, including plot K1 architects Morris & Co, and forms part of Edible Rotherhithe’s wider work.

Visit the project website for more information.

Wider Education Initiatives

Alongside these initiatives we also work with several schools locally by giving talks, supporting careers fairs or volunteering as governors. We’re a sponsor of Pathways to Property, a national programme which aims to encourage young people from diverse backgrounds into careers in the property industry, and includes a summer school at the University of Reading and work placements. We’ve also volunteered with Bacon’s College students as part of our last two community days, aiming to give them an insight into the property sector, and to hear their ideas about the Canada Water area.

London Bubble: Young Theatre Makers

We support London Bubble’s Young Theatre Makers project, which works with young people to use drama and theatre techniques to support mental health and wellbeing, building resilience, self-esteem and self-awareness.

Shaping Southwark’s Future

Together with United St Saviour’s Charity, Southwark Construction Skills Centre and Construction Youth Trust, we launched the Shaping Southwark’s Future programme, an education and employment partnership which aims to tackle construction employment issues and make young people aware of the opportunities within the construction sector.

Career Ready

We support the Southwark Career Ready programme. This works with three local schools – Bacon’s College, St Michael’s and City of London Academy – linking their students to employers and to help them reach their potential. We’ve been on the Local Advisory Board of the cluster since the start, and five British Land colleagues are currently mentoring Year 12 students through the programme.

Bermondsey Community Kitchen

We have committed £10k of funding for the Bermondsey Community Kitchen, a not-for-profit project to provide free training and opportunities in catering to local young people who are in long-term unemployment.

As the Masterplan will bring forward a range of exciting restaurants and cafes in Canada Water, the ambition is to link the training the Community Kitchen provides with catering jobs at Canada Water.


We’re working with Tree Shepherd in Canada Water to support budding entrepreneurs to explore their business ideas and take them to the next stage with Thrive, their co-working space.

Thrive is a new business support hub and low-cost workspace for Canada Water’s small businesses and local entrepreneurs, run by Tree Shepherd. Thrive is open to all SE16 residents three days a week. The project has two core offers to help local SE16 residents develop and expand their businesses: free business advice, support and training, and low-cost, flexible co-working and makerspace. To sign up or find out more information, email thrive@treeshepherd.org.uk or visit their website.

Southwark Chamber of Commerce

We are members of the Southwark Chamber of Commerce, and represented on the executive committee. Last year we hosted a business breakfast for Chamber members and local businesses, discussing the vision for business as part of the Canada Water Masterplan, and beginning a conversation about opportunities and ideas for local businesses in the supply chain.

Musicity: free music and architecture events

As part of our commitment to local high streets and businesses, we supported Musicity. Musicity combines music, architecture and technology to build a living archive of the sounds of cities across the world. British Land supported events in Albion Street and Lower Road, as well as the composition of a piece by Moses Boyd, an award winning drummer, composer, producer and electronic musician inspired by Canada Water Station.

For more information on the project visit Musicity’s website.

We’ve recently supported the Scandi Arts’ Fair at Deli Felice, Albion Street, and are currently developing further projects to support local high streets and businesses.

Mayflower 400 Fund

We’ve partnered with Southwark Council and United St Saviour’s Charity on a Mayflower 400 Grants Fund to support local projects that commemorate the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower from Rotherhithe to America. The fund is available to community groups, tenant and resident associations, faith based organisations, schools and arts, cultural and heritage organisations based in SE16. So far, £79,540 of the total £140,000 pot has been awarded to a diverse range of projects, many of which run over two years. To find out more about the Mayflower 400 Grants Fund, visit the website page.

Ballers Youth Club

We are proud to sponsor Ballers Youth Club, sponsoring the team’s football kits, track tops and training equipment. The club, run by coach Jamie Mehmet and now based in Rotherhithe, provides football coaching and life skills to local young footballers. British Land is delighted to support the club which plays an important role in championing young people’s sporting ambition.

Time and Talents @ CWM Hub

Community charity Time & Talents will take on the Consultation Hub at Surrey Quays Shopping Centre, bringing the space to life when it is not being used for masterplan consultation. They will host a wide variety of events, including crafting workshops, family activities and community parties, as well as renting the space to third parties to deliver community activities in line with their ethos and aims.

Local events & festivals

We have been a sponsor of the Rotherhithe Festival for a number of years and host a stall at the festival each year. British Land have committed to supporting the festival for the next two years, as it brings together local groups, charities and businesses in Rotherhithe to help raise money for charity – demonstrating the community spirit of Rotherhithe residents!

Community Day

Each year, we hold a day where all staff head out to spend a day volunteering on meaningful projects in the local community. Recently, seven volunteers from across British Land worked with Year 9 students from Bacon’s College in Rotherhithe to give them an insight into the property sector, and to hear their ideas about the Canada Water area. 24 other projects took place across London on the day, which included projects at Bede House, Surrey Docks Farm and Time and Talents.

Fisher FC

We have partnered with local fan-run football club Fisher FC to be their main shirt sponsor for another year. The sponsorship sees British Land feature on the kits until the end of the 2019/20 season, reflecting its ongoing commitment to making a positive impact in Rotherhithe, Canada Water and beyond.

Illuminate Rotherhithe

We have been supporting Illuminate Rotherhithe, a free local festival celebrating the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower in 1620 to the New World. In previous years, we have funded history walks and talks with the local mudlarks for school pupils in the area.

This year’s festival activities will take place from 9th November to 30th November with Trade as the main theme for this year, and Migration as the overall theme. To find out more about the festival and the events taking place this year, please visit their website.

Consultant’s Charter

In order maximise the benefit of the planning and design period of the Masterplan, British Land has launched the Consultants’ Charter for Canada Water.

The Masterplan team includes a wide range of experts in many disciplines and British Land aims to work collaboratively with these consultants to deliver a lasting positive legacy for the area. British Land has therefore asked its key suppliers and consultants to support the Canada Water Charter through committing to their own pledges and projects. The pledges will be annual, and set out how companies will contribute to the legacy of the Masterplan through their own projects and supporting existing ones.

Since the launch in November a range of activities are underway including members of the consultant team providing mentoring to fledgling local entrepreneurs, to Duggan Morris architects hosting the Edible Rotherhithe Architecture School workshops and a studio visit in April.