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Government puts up £3.75m to transform parks

Parks / iStock-108359509

The minister for parks and green spaces, Rishi Sunak, has announced a £3.75 million Pocket Parks Plus funding programme to create new pocket parks and refurbish existing ones.

More than 150 community-led groups, from Alton in Hampshire to Widnes in Cumbria, will receive funding that aims to help bring parks that have fallen into disrepair back into use.

Additionally, 40 unloved, neglected or derelict urban spaces across the country will be turned into new green spaces for communities to use.

Sunak 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 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.”

Some of 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 so that 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.

In addition to the Pockets Parks Plus programme the government has:

  • Allocated £9.7 million to local authorities to enhance the resources they need to maintain and boost 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.

The full list of successful organisations in the Pockets Park Plus programme can be viewed here.

Image credit | iStock