Over 100 new and revamped parks to improve UK cities
- People in urban areas set to benefit from initiative backed by £9m government funding
- Parks to be created in the neighborhoods most deprived of green spaces
- £2m total investment to support tree planting in new parks
Residents of towns and cities across the UK will benefit from more than 100 new and improved green spaces on their doorstep thanks to government funding of £9 million.
The Leveling Up Parks Fund will create new and improved parks in urban areas, helping communities come together and enjoy the outdoors.
By launching the fund during Love Parks Week, the government hopes that each new or improved green space will be an oasis for the local community, stimulating creativity and positive mental health while contributing to net zero ambitions.
In England, the money will be given to municipalities to create or significantly redevelop existing parks in 85 neighborhoods most deprived of outdoor space. Areas that will benefit include Liverpool, Birmingham, Carlisle and 16 London boroughs.
The new parks will dramatically increase access to quality green space for those who need it most, especially helping people without gardens to spend time with friends and family in the natural world.
From community gardens to formal greens and municipal parks, councils will be able to choose the nature and location of new or improved parks in their area, meaning that each green space will be as unique as the community it serves.
Secretary of State for Upgrading Greg Clark MP said:
Parks and green spaces are at the heart of our communities, providing refuge from the busy streets of our cities and towns and spaces for people to relax and come together.
Over the past few years, the importance of spending time with loved ones and getting outdoors has become even more apparent, and this latest government funding will help people living in urban areas do just that.
I can’t wait to see the new parks come to life and make a real difference in people’s daily lives for years to come.
In a further push to make the UK a greener place to live, £2million of the total investment will support the planting of trees at park sites, helping to tackle CO2 emissions and make cleaner air for people and wildlife. It also supports the government’s commitment to triple tree planting rates during this legislature.
Instead of a tendering process, the fund allocates grants to places the government has identified as most in need of quality green space, supported by data from Natural’s Green Infrastructure Framework mapping. England.
The UK Government has allocated over £1m of the fund to devolved administrations and we continue to work closely with them to determine how we can best use the funding to support green spaces in Scotland, Wales and in Northern Ireland.
Forestry Minister Lord Zac Goldsmith said:
This funding will ensure that people from all walks of life have access to nature by supporting the planting of trees in public green spaces in our urban communities – where tree cover is often lowest.
This will help us achieve our tree planting ambitions, as well as make our cities and towns healthier, better insulated from climate change and generally more livable.
Tony Juniper, Chairman of Natural England, said:
Big or small, green spaces help us connect with nature and support the health of our communities. Our research showed that 4 in 10 people said visiting green and natural spaces had been even more important to their well-being since the start of the pandemic.
This investment will create new habitats for our precious wildlife and build beautiful places for all to enjoy, with our data and expertise supporting the development of green spaces in areas where communities say they need it most.
Parks Upgrade Fund Prospectus for Eligible Boards.
In England, data from Natural England is used to determine eligible areas. The eligibility criteria take into account indices of multiple deprivation and the low proximity of green spaces.
As part of the Leveling Up Parks Fund, £2m funding for ‘tree raising’ will be provided by the government’s Nature for Climate fund, announced as part of the 2020 budget. This will cover the cost of preparation, the purchase, planting or ongoing maintenance of trees in any of the urban green spaces as part of the Parks Leveling Fund projects, reflecting the important role that trees play in urban communities. They provide shade, improve air quality, enhance biodiversity, and improve health and well-being.
The Leveling Up Parks Fund is one of many projects, including the Urban Tree Challenge Fund, supported by the Nature for Climate Fund, which aims to increase the number of trees in our cities.
The 85 regions of England that will receive funding are:
|East Midlands||Bassetlaw, Derby, East Lindsey, Leicester, Lincoln, Nottingham, West Lindsey|
|east of england||Basildon, Castle Point, Fenland, Great Yarmouth, Ipswich, Luton, Norwich, Peterborough, Southend-on-Sea, Tendring|
|London||Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Brent, Camden, Croydon, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Westminster|
|Northeast||County Durham, Gateshead, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Northumberland, Redcar and Cleveland, South Tyneside, Stockton-on-Tees, Sunderland|
|North West||Barrow-in-Furness, Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, Bolton, Carlisle, Halton, Hyndburn, Knowsley, Liverpool, Manchester, Oldham, Pendle, Preston, Rochdale, Salford, Sefton, Tameside, Wigan, Wirral|
|South East||Eastbourne, Hastings, Havant, Medway, Portsmouth, Reading, Rother, Southampton, Swale|
|West Midlands||Birmingham, Dudley, East Staffordshire, Redditch, Sandwell, Walsall, Wolverhampton|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Doncaster, City of Kingston upon Hull, Leeds, North East Lincolnshire, Sheffield|