A new £11 million Future Parks fund, which will be used to secure the future of parks and greenspaces across the UK, has been announced by the National Trust And National Lottery Heritage Fund. Through a package of grants and expert guidance, Future Parks aims to tackle, head on, the growing financial challenges facing public parks, which is putting them at serious risk.
Local authorities and communities will be empowered to find innovative and sustainable ways to manage and fund parks and open spaces across entire towns and cities.
From a total of 81 applications across the UK, eight places, covering a population of five million people, were chosen for their ambitious and creative strategies to put green spaces right at the heart of local communities.
The projects will:
• make green spaces central to everyday community life
• give the public a bigger role in how they are managed
• ensure parks contribute more to the public’s mental and physical health
• transform the way parks are funded to secure their futures
For instance, in Islington and Camden the councils will focus on using parks and green spaces to improve health and wellbeing by developing closer links to the NHS, health providers, doctors and health charities.
The other successful places are:
• Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole;
• Cambridgeshire (county-wide, covering seven council areas);
Announcing the fund, Hilary McGrady, the National Trust’s Director General, said: “Today is a landmark moment for the nation’s urban parks.
“This is not just about new ways to fund and support these much-loved community spaces, but completely re-thinking the role green spaces play in our lives and how we can ensure they thrive for generations to come.”