68 new parks to inject green space into urban areas

3 Mar 2020 02:34 PM

Communities Secretary announces dozens of community groups will receive funding to transform neglected urban spaces into thriving green spaces.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick yesterday (3 March 2020) announced dozens of community groups will receive funding to transform neglected urban spaces into thriving green havens for the whole community to use.

Announced on World Wildlife Day, the £1.35 million funding will help community groups to create 19 brand new parks and refurbish 49 currently unused and unloved plots of land, breathing new, green life into our towns and cities and increasing biodiversity across England.

The new parks and green spaces will provide new areas for children to play, outdoor fitness facilities for residents, and places for families and friends to come together, helping encourage community integration and tackling loneliness.

These new grants will fund the third round of Pocket Parks since the scheme launched in 2016. 

The government has now funded 352 grants to support community groups to create 146 new parks and give a vital boost to 206 derelict urban spaces in towns and cities in every region of the country.

Communities Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP yesterday said: 

Pocket parks are used for everything from exercise and gardening to socialising and relaxing. They have huge benefits for our mental and physical health and allow us to take a moment out of our busy lives to connect with nature.

We are determined to protect our nation’s parks for future generations to enjoy, and on World Wildlife Day, I am delighted to announce the recipients of the extra £1.35 million for the Pocket Parks fund – adding 68 new parks, which will take the total we’ve backed to 352.

Creating more pocket parks is part of this Government’s ambition to ensure that communities have a real sense of identity and place, and that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy green spaces in their local area.

Allison Ogden-Newton OBE, Chief Executive of environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy which runs the Green Flag Award scheme for parks and green spaces, yesterday said:

This is great news for people and for the environment, creating more parks and green spaces at the heart of communities.

We look forward to seeing many of these sites achieve the Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award in the years to come.

Pocket Parks range approximately from the size of 1 tennis court to the size of 16, between 0.02 to 0.32 hectares. They inject green space into our towns and cities and provide opportunities for the whole community to benefit from spending time in nature.

Among the successful schemes to be funded are:

The government is working with the Parks Action Group, which represents leaders from across the parks sector, to support community empowerment programmes, professional development for the parks workforce and alternative park management models to ensure our parks are fit for the 21st Century.

Alongside yesterday’s announcement the government are supporting Parks Action Group to establish a reference group to establish a reference group of parks managers who are responsible for delivering government policy on the ground.

Click here for the full press release