Horticulture Week Custodian Award - Best Urban Parks Team

Winner - Nottingham City Council parks and open spaces team

A mixture of strategies to attract investment, improve the service and secure jobs has Nottingham parks' service on track to be self-funding by 2020. This is crucial because the city council has to make further savings of £20.5m in 2016-17, including £400,000 from its parks department.

Gross expenditure in the service has reduced over five years from £8m to £6.3m. Income has risen significantly to £4.2m, creating a net cost of £2.1m. The team brings in 66 per cent of service costs and generates £8.83 of external capital funding for every £1 of council funds.

External funding since 2007 totals £28.7m, achieved through bids and commercial activities. Many of these have been created through partnerships - for example, working with the England & Wales Cricket Board helped to create Victoria Embankment Pavilion, worth £750,000, with resource contributions from 60 businesses ranging from at-cost to free.

Harvey Hadden Sports Village brought in investment of more than £16m from Sport England, British Cycling, England Athletics, Wren and Notts Athletics Club. Some £750,000 was brought in for a three-year programme to improve 11 parks through the Wren/FCC Building Communities Fund programme, with partners contributing a further £314,000. Grants given by Wren to Nottingham City Council parks over nine years total £1.6m.

Commercial activities include the Woodthorpe Park Plant Shop, which adjoins the nursery and is open every day; the offering of commercial nursery services; park rangers leading school activities and corporate away-days; and Nottingham in Bloom sponsorship across more than 30 traffic islands and parks.

The city also offers a parks development, arboriculture and landscape architecture and design service to neighbouring local authorities as well as the private sector.

Nottingham now has a record 25 Green Flags, 15 Community Green Flags and two Heritage Green Flags - one of the best results nationally - as well as an all-time-high 93 per cent public satisfaction rating, on which it plans to improve.

Nottingham Open Space Forum has been relaunched as an ambassador for the service, set up as a trust to secure external funding. It includes influential business people and active community representatives.

Highly commended

Bath & North East Somerset Council

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

IoG Saltex 2016 - show preview

IoG Saltex 2016 - show preview

This year's Saltex will be looking to build on the success of last year by packing in a multitude of exhibitors and sessions over the two days, Sally Drury reports.

According To Dunnett ... Horticulture needed to 'colour in' green infrastructure

According To Dunnett ... Horticulture needed to 'colour in' green infrastructure

It's now around one year since work started on Sheffield's groundbreaking "Grey to Green" scheme, one of the largest urban green infrastructure projects in the UK.

Tree lifting, moving  and planting

Tree lifting, moving and planting

Successful relocations can see even big trees flourish while costing less than buying new stock, says Sally Drury.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Contracts & Tenders

Sally Drury on professional gardening

Sally Drury

A monthly checklist of things to do and watch out for to keep your garden looking its best.