Green Flag Awards entry fees set to rise

Entry fee will rise to £299 for sites under 20ha and £349 for larger areas after Keep Britain Tidy secures five-year contract.

The Green Flag Awards will operate under a new business model - image: Keep Britain Tidy
The Green Flag Awards will operate under a new business model - image: Keep Britain Tidy

Keep Britain Tidy, which is now set to run the Green Flag Awards for the next five years, will have to raise entry fees, it has said.

The charity revealed that it would work with the Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG) to increase the number of well-managed green spaces in the UK. Keep Britain Tidy, working with GreenSpace, will licence the award abroad.

Under secretary Don Foster used a major Heritage and Big Lottery Funds conference last week to announce the winner of a bidding war that was thought to include around 16 organisations and condemned for the reckless time frame for bid submissions.

"Under the terms of the new licence the scheme is required to be self sufficient," Keep Britain Tidy scheme manager Paul Todd said of the award, which used to attract £1m of Government funding. "It has therefore been necessary to increase the fees."

They will rise from £185 to £299 for sites under 20ha and from £235 to £349 for bigger sites. Todd added that the coalition would pay £75,000 transition funding this year but nothing from the second year.

"We will develop international licensing where countries pay a fee," said Todd. "We plan to bring on two countries a year and we are currently working with the Republic of Ireland, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. We will also look at corporate support."

Many in the sector remain angry at the way DCLG handled the bid, particularly the lack of time bidders had to prepare. One was said to be furious: "Having invested considerable time and effort to bid, they were told they were not professional enough, their business case was incomplete and they were not well enough recognised by the sector."

Consultant Peter Wilkinson said: "Five years provides some stability for Keep Britain Tidy to develop a new business model.

"Some say it will not have been able to properly assess price sensitivity in the market before making their bid. I am sure they will have anticipated the loss of customers in their bid."

Keep Britain Tidy said in a press statement: "We will continue to manage day-to-day operations in England, with delivery in the other nations being overseen by sister charities."

Green Flag Awards - Project partners

Keep Britain Tidy will manage the applications, judges and publicity. GreenSpace will recruit and train judges and handle regional forums and international development.

The Federation of City Farms & Community Gardens will oversee the Green Flag Community Award. The National Housing Federation will promote the social housing sector, a potential growth area for the award.

Keep Scotland Beautiful, Keep Wales Tidy and Tidy Northern Ireland will manage applications, judges, judging, publicity, recruitment and training of judges in their respective countries.

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