Restoring Wapping Dock River Stairs

Impact data and claims within this report are provided by the project creator and have not been independently verified by Spacehive.

Restoring Wapping Dock River Stairs

Restoring Wapping Dock River Stairs

Turk's Head Charity By Turk's Head Charity

Save Wapping Dock River Stairs will restore the historic and derelict river stairs next to Wapping Station and in doing so will reinstate a lost access point to the Thames foreshore.

City of London Fundraising stage

pledged of £34,306
days left

Pledges will only be charged if the project hits its funding goal of £34,306 by 23 Sep 2017

The foreshores of the tidal Thames are among London’s most precious and unique spaces. As ancient access points fall into disrepair or ‘disappear’ through neglect and abandonment, access to the foreshore is becoming increasingly challenging. Wayfinding to the functioning steps is generally poor or non-existent which further inhibits opportunities to enjoy this remarkable space. There is a history of recreational use of the foreshore. The Tower of London’s ‘Children’s Beach’ was, for decades, a hugely popular space for Londoners. Opened in 1934 by King George V, the beach closed in 1971 due to fears of water contamination. Although the river is cleaner now, the beach has never reopened and foreshore access has generally become more restricted. Securing access through restoration of the historic stairs, will create a truly democratic shared space, to be enjoyed by the local community, and will enable all Londoners to access their river and explore its foreshore.

What we'll deliver:

  • Engage the community. Host events that allow people to discover the history and the potential of the foreshore
  • Explore the possibility of a Community Warden training scheme to look after and monitor the access stairs
  • Liaise with other charities and organisations that are involved promoting a fuller engagement with the river.
  • Instruct lawyers to investigate easements and rights of way to the access stairs
  • Rebuild the historic Wapping Dock Stairs

Why it's a great idea:

Increasing privatisation of London’s public spaces is threatening the rights of Londoners to fully engage with and benefit from the natural and physical resources of London. The Thames foreshore is a major public open resource that deserves to be better celebrated and cherished. However, restrictions on rights of way and the neglect of river stairs is eroding our ability to access the foreshore. The objective of improving and protecting foreshore access will not only to celebrate London’s heritage, but will allow Londoners to reconnect with the ecology and life of their river and to experience nature in an unexpected and enduring way. In recognising the unique aesthetic and recreational qualities of our tidal river, Wapping River Stairs Project will be at the forefront of preventing further destruction of the access to these spaces. The project will pioneer the way forward for other foreshore spaces to be regenerated and made publicly accessible along the tidal Thames.

Steps to get it done:

  • Schedule works to fit around tide times

As an area Wapping, is somewhat polarised in socio-economic and geographic terms, with a bit of the ‘rich by the river and the poor inland’ syndrome, and many residents have limited access to open-space. Wapping River Stairs Project is a community focused urban regeneration project that aims to increase public appreciation of London’s principle river. We believe community-evolved solutions should be at the heart of urban planning. Collaboration, inclusiveness, and commitment to social and environmental sustainability will be at the heart of this project. The project will initially focus on the Wapping Dock river stairs which are next to Wapping Overground station. Thames Path deviates from the riverfront along this stretch and in many places gated communities have effectively cut off river access, conveying an atmosphere of fortification and exclusion. Restoration of the access stairs and improved way finding will encourage people to rediscover and reclaim their river foreshore.

Location City of London

City of London has 3 other projects and £1,025,000 in potential grant funding

About the space

Custom Location


London Borough of Tower Hamlets

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How will the money be spent?Total £34,306

Reinstate timber steps 16No in hardwood and reinstate timber posts to support a handrail in hardwood - £20,000 (58%)
Unproductive working time/waiting time - £5,500 (16%)
Re-point mortar joints to concrete stair - £2,500 (7%)
new metal handrail to one side only 6.5 m - £2,000 (6%)
Provide permanent guarding at base of stone steps - £1,000 (3%)
Other - £3,306 (10%)

Costs Breakdown

This shows how money raised for the project will be spent. These costs have been confirmed by the project's Delivery Manager and verified.

Reinstate timber steps 16No in hardwood and reinstate timber posts to support a handrail in hardwood
Unproductive working time/waiting time
Re-point mortar joints to concrete stair
new metal handrail to one side only 6.5 m
Provide permanent guarding at base of stone steps
  • Spacehive fees
  • Transaction Fees
  • VAT

Total £34,306

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