Have a look at the Planning Permission set of drawings All Drawings here.


The Phoenix Canoe Club and Outdoor Centre currently operate from an old wooden building in Woodfield Park playing grounds next to the Welsh Harp reservoir in North London. Phoenix Canoe Club was formed in 2004 and moved in with a sailing club, following the closure of the council run Welsh Harp Youth Sailing Base (WHYSB), located further along the reservoir. We started working with local schools, colleges, youth and community groups in 2011, providing the activities that they had been without since the closure of the WHYSB. This has grown year on year from a humble 1,576 participants per 2 hour session, to 8,050 in 2016. We have also moved from volunteer led coaching to three full time staff and a growing number of sessional staff. The Sailing Club closed down in 2012 and we took over the building lease from the council.

The current building was never designed to accommodate this sort of throughput and we devote a lot of time to maintenace of the building fabric. It’s not all doom and gloom – we have modern watersports equipment and a wealth of great coaches and instructors. Our Centre is set in a little rural oasis in the middle of the great metropolis close to Wembley National Stadium, offering a warm welcome to the many young people that take part in our activities. The reservoir and surrounding shoreline is a Site of Special Scientific Interest boasting a wealth of wildlife and is also zoned for water sports and recreation.

We work with young people from age 9 upwards and adults offering kayaking, canoeing, Bell boating, stand-up paddle boarding, sailing, windsurfing, raft building, power boat training, orienteering and team building. The Outdoor Centre is an RYA Recognised Training Centre, RYA Sailability Centre, operates the RYA OnBoard youth sailing scheme and is a British Canoeing Quality Mark Centre. The Centre is also licenced by the Adventurous Activities Licencing Authority.

The Club is affiliated to British Canoeing and has the Sport England “Clubmark” – a cross-sport accreditation scheme for community sports clubs. The Club is a member of “London Youth” – supporting and challenging young people to become the best they can be! The Club operates a progressive programme of training including regular river trips in the UK and abroad. In 2018 we had 35 members travel to India for a two week kayaking and rafting expedition to the Ganges and Kali River, including some community projects and sightseeing.


A new, purpose built club house will provide our users and the local community with a modern sporting hub with vastly improved facilities. We have worked with Barratt Metropolitain, the developer of the local housing regeneration scheme, and their design team to redesign the grounds and headquarters, for which we achieved Planning Permission approval in late 2017. The new HQ will provide the following accommodation:

Ground Floor

  • 4 x 15 person changing rooms which will provide better flexibility, gender and age group separation, facilities for the disabled and showers for all
  • A separate changing room, shower and toilet for the disabled
  • Reception, office and staff room with staff changing rooms
  • Outdoor covered briefing area
  • Personal Protective Equipment Store & laundry
  • Canoe Store to house kayaks, canoes, power boats, paddles etc
  • Community Café providing employment for adults with learning difficulties
  • Stairs and lift to 1st Floor
  • Fully accessible inclusive building

First Floor

  • Large General Purpose Club Room
  • Training Room and Meeting Room
  • Kitchen and Store
  • Breakout seating area
  • Male, Female and Disabled Toilets
  • Terrace overlooking reservoir


  • Car parking for 12 vehicles including 2 disabled bays & electric car charging points
  • Cycle racks for 10 bicycles
  • Trailer Park
  • Boat Park for 24 sailing dinghies
  • Climbing wall – new activity!
  • Wider access to the water with beach area for dinghy and windsurf launching
  • Hard permeable landscaping – goodbye mud!
  • Vegetable garden linked to the Community Café
  • New landscaping and planting


  • Solar panels for electricity generation
  • Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery
  • Air source heat pump to provide low cost, energy saving heating
  • Grey water collection system
  • Biodisc sewage treatment package
  • High levels of insulation for heat conservation
  • Electric immersion heater & point of use water heaters


The design objectives of the new centre building, when operating at full capacity, will be able to achieve in excess of 15,000 session visits per annum. This will provide the following outcomes:

  • Provision of modern, fit-for-purpose facility to fulfil the objectives of the Phoenix Canoe Club, for current and future generations to enjoy
  • Grow, sustain and excel participation in paddlesport, sailsport and other adventurous activities
  • Increase health, well-being and fitness benefits through participation in sport
  • Provide a wider and more inclusive service with fully accessible building and sports equipment providing more opportunities for disabled and disadvantaged people
  • Community sport hub for delivery of water sports and active recreation for a rapidly growing urban population
  • Provision of employment and volunteering opportunities
  • Expansion of outdoor educational opportunities for schools, further and higher education, youth and community groups.

The project is going to cost in the region of £2.1m including all of the enabling works, operational costs, additional equipment, fittings and furniture. Through a recent crowdfunding campaign on Spacehive we have raised enough money to create a seed fund to allow us to move the project to the major fundraising stage where we can approach grant funders, high net worth individuals and charitable trusts. Our next few tasks are to:

  • Complete our Feasibility Study and Business Case
  • Engage a professional fundraiser to assist and advise with our funding strategy
  • Move the Planning approval drawings forward to Design Stage
  • Legal fees for final 25 year lease agreement
  • Enabling works to allow the Club & Centre to continue during the building stage

We have also been getting our ‘ducks in a row’!

  • Full Planning Permission approval for new building, grounds and access road
  • Became a Constituent Body member of Welsh Harp Sailing Association
  • Signed a new water licence and agreement to use the Welsh Harp reservoir
  • Agreement with LB Barnet for additional land to be included in the site area
  • Completed a Community Benefit Assessment Tool exercise with LB Barnet
  • New 25 year lease being finalised with LB Barnet

Your help in donating to our cause will provide the foundations for our project, opening up our work to enable more people to be active in the local community. Any excess funding over our target will be put straight into the building fund. To make a donation, please contact Phil Atkinson at

Phoenix Canoe Club Limited is a registered charity, no. 1148787 and a company limited by guarantee, registration no. 8002910.  Phoenix Canoe Club and Phoenix Outdoor Centre are trading names of Phoenix Canoe Club Limited.



All website content copyright © 2019 Phoenix Canoe Club unless stated otherwise.

Phoenix Canoe Club and Outdoor Centre

Phoenix Canoe Club Limited is a registered charity no. 1148787 and a company limited by guarantee, registration no. 8002910. Phoenix Canoe Club and Phoenix Outdoor Centre are trading names of Phoenix Canoe Club Limited.


Website by Ian Tokelove at Canoe London