Nearly 200 pocket parks will help transform the nation

Over 40 unloved, neglected or derelict urban spaces across the country will be transformed into new green spaces for the whole community to use, Parks and Green Spaces Minister Rishi Sunak MP has confirmed.

In addition, through the £3.75 Pocket Parks Plus programme over 150 community-led groups from Alton in Hampshire to Widnes in Cumbria will receive funding to help bring parks that have fallen into disrepair back into use.

Parks and Green Spaces Minister Rishi Sunak MP said: "Parks and green spaces – no matter what size – are huge assets to our towns and cities and offer us all opportunities to relax, socialise, exercise and play.

"From grabbing a quick break from the pressures of everyday life, to walking the dog, parks offer a place to get close to nature, engage with their communities and can help people overcome social isolation.

"From the creation of valuable new green spots to the day-to-day upkeep of public places, the Pocket Parks Plus Programme gives local leaders and their communities the means to better maintain, protect and enhance their treasured green spaces."

Among the successful schemes to be funded are:

  • Warwick Place Play Area, a play area in Tewkesbury which has been awarded £23,500 to remove dilapidated equipment and install new structures, ensuring children with disabilities are able to play alongside their able-bodied peers.
  • A new nature trail and wildflower meadow in Baildon, Bradford, which will add beauty and green space to the local area.
  • Flood Meadows in Alton, Hampshire – led by Amery Hill Residents Association, the £25,000 awarded will allow them to make their stretch of the River Wey more accessible, including the creation of a new pathway to encourage community access, a platform made of recycled plastic where children can take part in educational pond dipping sessions, and protection of the local riverbank.

The announcement also includes the allocations of the £9.7 million funding to local authorities to enhance the resources they need to maintain and boost recreational spaces.

The government is committed to creating more places for people to live, work and enjoy the benefits that parks and green spaces bring to local life. In addition to the Pocket Parks Plus Programme we’ve recently:

  • Awarded £9.7 million of new funding to local authorities giving them the resources they need to better maintain, protect and increase their recreational spaces.
  • Awarded over a million pounds to the National Trust and The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Future Parks Accelerator initiative to test new and innovative approaches to managing and funding parks.

But we need to do more to make sure future generations continue to enjoy their benefits.

The government will continue to work with the Parks Action Group, which represents leaders from across the parks sector and we’re providing support funding for community empowerment programmes, professional development for the parks workforce and alternative park management models to ensure our parks are fit for the 21st century.

It also extended the Green Flag Award licence in 2017 by a further 5 years meaning the people behind Britain’s best parks and green spaces will continue to be recognised and awarded for their tireless dedication.

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