Eleven parks in England are benefiting from a total grant of £23 million, awarded jointly by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund.

he bandstand at Lightwoods Park, one of the parks to benefit, photographed in about 1912
he bandstand at Lightwoods Park, one of the parks to benefit, photographed in about 1912

The 11 funded parks are:

• Boultham Park, Lincoln – £2.7m

• Holywells Park, Ipswich, Suffolk – £2.9m

• Alexandra Park Road, London – £1.5m

• West Hackney Recreation Ground, London – £690,700

• Eastcote House Gardens, London – £1.3m

• Langton Gardens, London – £1.9m

• Memorial Park, Fleetwood, Lancashire – £2m

• Westgate Gardens and Landscape, Canterbury, Kent – £766,800

• Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge, Dudley – £2.6m

• Lightwoods Park, Smethwick, near Birmingham – £3.6m

• Cliffe Castle Park, Keighley, West Yorkshire – £3.5m

 

In addition, initial support plus £1,169,900 of development funding has been awarded to six parks projects, five in England and one in Scotland. They are:

• Highfields Park, Nottingham – for a £3.1m HLF/BIG bid, including £280,500 development funding

• Houghton Hall Park, Dunstable, Bedfordshire – for a £2.1m HLF/BIG bid, including £215,100 development funding

• Avenue House Trust, Finchley, London – for a £2m HLF/BIG bid, including £101,600 development funding

• Rivington Terraced Gardens, Rivington, Bolton – for a £3.4m HLF/BIG bid, including £63,700 development funding

• Page Park, South Gloucestershire – for a £1.7m HLF/BIG bid, including £117,000 development funding

• Saughton Park, Edinburgh, Lothian – for a £4.1m HLF/BIG bid, including £392,000 development funding.

In recognition of problems with funding to support parks, the HLF has appointed a team of experts to deliver a report called ‘State of the UK’s Public Parks’. The team is being led by parks consultant Peter Neal and director of Community First Partnership Ian Baggott, and includes public parks research specialist Dr Edward Hobson, Peter Harnik from the Centre for City Park Excellence in Washington DC, parks communications specialist Ben Hurley and research company Ipsos Mori.

Carole Souter, chief executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said that ‘parks, like many local services, are at risk of reductions in funding at present, which is why we’re announcing research today which will provide the evidence to show how important parks are to quality of life and so help them survive and thrive in these difficult times.’

The research group has issued an immediate call for evidence, which you should send to ukparksstudy@cfpuk.co.uk

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