Thousands of people are set to benefit from new pocket parks or the revival of rundown green spaces as Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick launched a £1.35 million fund today (27 October 2019).
Championing the crucial role parks and green spaces play at the heart of our communities, Mr Jenrick opened bidding for the pocket parks programme, which helps support communities to transform unloved, neglected or derelict urban spaces into new green spaces.
Community groups can now bid for new parks or reimagined spaces that will be used for everything from children’s play areas, to vegetable patches and community events, benefiting the mental and physical health of people who use them.
Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:
We want to improve the mental and physical health of local people by providing a sustainable and affordable sanctuary away from the hustle of urban life.
That’s why we have launched this fund to encourage projects led by community groups to renovate parks and encourage community activities of all kinds.
Establishing more pocket parks is part of our wider ambition to ensure that communities have a real sense of identity and place, and that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy green spaces nearby. This government is determined to protect our nation’s parks for future generations to enjoy.
Funded projects will be led by community groups, in partnership with local authorities, to refurbish parks and encourage community activities. Those wanting to develop new parks can bid for up to £15,000. While up to £25,000 is available for plans to refurbish existing parks.
Parks Minister Lord Younger said:
Parks and green spaces are a key asset in towns and cities up and down the country and provide great value to our communities.
The pocket parks programme has seen great success in supporting community-led groups to take over neglected and derelict spaces for the whole community to use.
Our ambition is to extend its transformative effect with a further round of the pocket parks programme and ensure parks and green spaces remain at the heart of our communities. It is now for community-led organisations to take the lead and encourage everyone to apply.
This latest action forms part of the 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 nearby.