City Road Basin
City Road Basin

From wasting asset
to vibrant waterside destination


In the late 1990s the City Road Basin was one of Islington’s few remaining unrealised assets.

Once an important canal for commercial river traffic dating back to early 19th Century, the area had fallen into a state of perpetual decline.

Comprising a series of post-war light industrial and commercial buildings, the Canal Basin as a whole was inward looking, disconnected and inaccessible to the local and wider community.   

To avoid carrying forward a legacy of disconnection and isolation there was a need for a comprehensive development approach. A long-term view and sustained investment was fundamental in ensuring that the potential of the Basin and end-values would not be diluted by short-term piecemeal development


Groveworld was the head of the steering group which helped inform the masterplan for City Road Basin in 2002, before it was adopted as policy in 2004.

The Masterplan provided a strong policy platform for cohesive regeneration and renewal. Groveworld built on this, recognising the need to forge early and lasting relationships with a number of partners and stakeholder groups to ensure deliverability and success.

Land assembly and partnership working
Groveworld adopted a flexible approach, forming a number of joint ventures with landowners such as British Waterways and Miller Developments. The Company unlocked sites and delivered stakeholder value by seeking to understand partner aspirations and constraints and in turn negotiated site specific development agreements.

Stakeholder engagement
As part of the planning process Groveworld committed to extensive community and stakeholder consultation exercises with the London Borough of Islington. Meaningful engagement helped to harness local support and inform the design end-developments to ensure long-lasting neighbourhood led regeneration.

Place making
Groveworld drew upon its in-house planning and development expertise and worked closely with innovative architects to ensure high quality design across the Basin. With Pollard Thomas Edwards they delivered the award winning Crystal Wharf and Angel Wharf.

Local authority collaboration - working in partnership the London Borough for Islington, Groveworld jointly applied for and utilised Government Office for London (GOL) granting funding to design and create a new civic space. Groveworld delivered the package of works under contract. 

Funding & delivery
Groveworld financed the developments in a variety of ways: utilising Company capital, raising debt and seeking equity partners. This flexible approach to finance and partnership working allowed Groveworld to sustain its long-term investment in the area whilst weathering the economic downturn.



Waterways Renaissance Award
The Masterplan was praised by the British Urban Regeneration Association for its regeneration and master planning excellence.