Thursday, 10 January 2019

Apply by January 25th for funds to create or refurbish local pocket parks

Wooden sculptures in Tubbs Road Pocket Park

The government, through the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government,  is inviting applications from community groups interested in establishing a new pocket park or refurbishing an existing one. The government has unfortunately given a very tight deadline of 5pm on Friday 25 January for applications but, if you would like to make one, please visit the government’s website for full details and an application form. LINK

From the Prospectus:

What is Pocket Parks Plus?

The scheme provides grants to community-led bodies working in partnership with their local authority with the aim of creating new pocket parks or bringing existing green spaces up to a safe, usable standard and ensuring long-term support for those initiatives. 

For the purposes of this scheme we will define a pocket park as a piece of land of up to 0.4 hectares (although many are around 0.02 hectares, the size of a tennis court) which may already be under grass, but which is unused, undeveloped or derelict.

Why is this support available?

Building safer, stronger communities and creating places which are ‘owned’ and valued by everyone within local communities are key to the aims of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. 

We know that communities value the green spaces around them and their positive impact on social well-being and physical and mental health is well documented. This programme will focus on providing spaces that are tailored to address the needs of a local area. Providing spaces where people can enhance their wellbeing, have access to healthy exercise, meet other people and find companionship are vital in addressing issues such as increasing health costs, loneliness and division within local communities. Parks and green spaces provide a wealth of opportunities to get closer to nature, meet up with friends, play, take physical exercise, walk the dog or even just have some quiet time in the fresh air with a cup of coffee from their local high street. They could also be used to hold community events such as street parties or music events which support local retailers. 

Parks can also contribute to wider government outcomes, including delivering a quality natural environment and increasing opportunities for people to overcome isolation and engage with their communities. 

To help achieve these aims we will prioritise our support to communities who can provide evidence of local needs that can be addressed through the creation or refurbishment of a green space.

Pocket parks – locally identified, smaller areas of green space ultra-local to where people live and work – can provide those wellbeing opportunities, as well as helping to improve community integration, community pride and social action, especially where communities are involved in the upkeep and development decisions of the park. 

In this scheme we will consider projects for refurbishment of a park or part of a park where this will bring those currently in a state of disrepair back into public use for the long-term and provide a safe accessible place for people in the local community to use. This could include improving access for those with limited mobilty or building or refurbishing a children’s play area, enabling the park to be a focal point for young families. This does not include funding of general maintenance or repairs which remains the responsibility of the local authority. 

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is therefore providing a £1 million fund to support the development of new pocket parks and to refurbish existing parks that have fallen into disrepair where their restoration 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 a position to take on the management of green spaces of value to them, and contribute resource towards upgrading spaces so that they are in good condition and communities can focus on managing them for the future. 

Applications must reach us by email at by 5:00pm on Friday 25 January 2019

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