History of Broadwater Farm

Key dates in Broadwater Farm Estate’s history from its construction - A short time-line




Tower block

Construction of the estate, to provide 1,063 properties, begins. It was fully occupied by 1973.


A key feature of the estate's design was a system of walkways linking all blocks at first floor (deck) level. No habitable rooms were provided at ground level due to the high water table.
1976Design faults and lack of amenities had become apparent. Fifty three per cent of tenants refused offers of accommodation at Broadwater Farm. There was a long queue of existing tenants waiting to be transferred from it.
1981The process of re-generation began and it is spearheaded by residents.
1983Neighbourhood Office opened. Housing services staff are based on the estate to deal with day-to-day housing issues.
1985Tensions between the youth and the police give rise to civil disturbances. Broadwater Farm’s notorious image of a violent and troubled estate begins to form.

Jeremy Corbyn (now MP for Islington North) was a Haringey councillor and had been Chair of the Planning Committee that supported the development of the NAM ideas in Haringey. Councillor Corbyn appointed the Haringey Borough Architect Mr John Murray as team leader in the new structure. The change to the service was completed in 1985 by his former colleague, the late Bernie Grant MP, when he was a local councillor.

1987Broadwater Farm Residents’ Association formed.
1990Ecumenical Group was formed following monthly prayer meetings since 1985 at Moselle School and then at the estate’s social club.
1992The Broadwater Community Centre and the Broadwater Farm Enterprise Centre opened
1993Urban regeneration funds amounting to £33 million allocated to start an 8-year Estate Action Programme to renovate the estate.
1996Mr. Motivator opened Broadwater Farm Community Health Centre.
Ghana Union formed.
1997Better Life for Women and Families formed.
2000Opportunities Centre opened.

Haringey Council moved towards Neighbourhood Management in response to the Government’s National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal. The Council underwent a major restructuring, establishing a new division for Neighbourhood Management. Broadwater Farm was identified as a priority neighbourhood.

The Friends of Lordship Rec (external link) were established in June 2001 by local residents interested in improving the facilities in the park surrounding Broadwater Farm.


Estate Action Programme (EAP) ended.
A community development worker for Broadwater Farm was appointed and was based at the Neighbourhood Office.

First Annual General Meeting of Broadwater Farm Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) took place. The TMO was in its development stage and not yet operational.
Ghanaian Cultural Community Group formed.

2003 - 2004

Newlon Housing Trust built 12 houses on land purchased from Haringey Council. Work began on a 104 place nursery / children’s centre. The Enterprise Centre submitted a bid in partnership with the local community and the council, under the Community Economic Development programme, to refurbish and extend its premises and to offer support and opportunities for job seekers and the self employed. Better Life for Women and Families submitted a bid under the same programme to provide childcare training. Broadwater Women’s Forum was formed on 8th March - International Women’s Day. Following consultation with local residents, a road on the new site was named ‘Grant Close’, in memory of the late Bernie Grant MP.

African Cultural Group and United Support of People in Need Association was formed.


In full blossom © Tomas Hruska 2010A funding application to the Heritage Lottery Fund by Haringey Council with the help and community support of the Friends of Lordship Rec was accepted for capital investment. This went towards funding the transformation and redevelopment of Lordship Rec park, which is located next to the estate.

The regeneration plans for the park included the following improvement projects:

  • Restoration of the River Moselle
  • A new City Farm
  • A new Eco-centre with public toilet facilities
  • Significant re-landscaping works including new pathways, restored entrances, new litter and dog bins and improved seating
  • New BMX track
  • Restoration of the Model Traffic Area
  • Restoration of the Shell Theatre
  • Restoration of old toilet block into information point/farm shop

See the Lordship Recreation Ground page


The Council announced that work would begin on creating an Inclusive Learning Campus. Broadwater Farm Primary School, William C Harvey School, The Moselle School and Broadwater Farm Children's Centre would all be part of the campus. The Campus would bring children together who have different educational needs.

It was intended that this new facility, along with other local services, would also benefit the whole community by providing activities and services for local people of all ages. This would include breakfast clubs, homework clubs, all year-round childcare for children from 0 to 11, parenting support, employment, housing and benefit advice and new sports facilities.

Back to Top

Page last updated:

December 8, 2021