The Government is currently inviting community-led organisations in partnership with local authorities to apply for funding to create new pocket parks and refurbish existing parks.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is making available £1.35 million to create new pocket parks or renovate existing parks that have fallen into disrepair where it can be shown that physical changes could have a significant positive impact on the local community and address a specific local need. This funding will help put communities and their partners in control of the management of green spaces of value to them; and contribute resource towards improving the condition of these spaces to ensure they are in good condition.
Grants will be paid to the appropriate principal local authority that is supporting the application (funding will be paid using powers under section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003) so that it can be released to the community in order to deliver the project.
Cllr Karen Buckley, Deputy Leader for Fylde Council and Chair of the Finance and Democracy Committee said: “Here at Fylde Council we would be delighted to support the initiative and help our community groups bring to life the pocket parks, whether it be to replace play equipment or create a new green space. I invite existing groups to get in touch with our Parks Team to explore their ideas.”
Deadline for applications is December 31st with up to £15K available for new parks and up to £25K available for the renovation of existing parks. Communities are strongly encouraged to obtain match-funding towards the grant awarded and it is expected that applicants provide evidence that match-funding of a minimum of 30% of the grant amount has been secured. This is in addition to the grant and not part of the grant. Match funding can take the form of financial support, materials or labour. You should set out clearly what you consider to be the value of any match funded labour.
The Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “Communities are at the heart of everything we do. They are where we live, work and play. Parks and green spaces are a hub of many communities. Neglect of these precious spaces can create a detrimental effect on the local people and environment. I want to ensure we revitalize those spaces helping strengthen our communities and making them more resilient.
Our parks and green spaces have been at the heart of our communities for hundreds of years, giving respite and relief in an increasingly busy world.
Protecting and enhancing these much-loved spaces forms a key part of this Government’s ambition to level up all our regions through the creation of thriving and resilient places in every part of the country.
The benefits of green spaces – no matter their size – are well-known. Even some of our smallest ‘pocket parks’ help to shape local identity, help people overcome social isolation and create a sense of belonging in the places we call home.
Parks also offer people from all walks of life and all parts of our society somewhere to come together, enjoy each other’s company and take advantage of the opportunities that accessible, free and attractive open spaces can provide.
We launched the original Pocket Parks Scheme in 2015, focussing on supporting those in the most deprived areas.
This created over 80 eye-catching new pocket parks for families and whole communities to enjoy.
Last year, we shifted the Pockets Parks scheme up a gear with Pocket Parks Plus funding 198 new and renovated parks.
We know we can do even more and that’s why we are launching Pocket Parks to help communities transform unloved, neglected or derelict areas into new green spaces.
I’m excited to see this pioneering scheme grow and look forward to hearing from communities across the country about their creative plans to shape and improve their neighbourhoods for generations to come.”
If you would like to know more about the funding or apply, please click here.