Green Flag development manager Paul Todd said he was keen to expand Green Flag through the university network and was trying to line up an event in August so colleges could learn about the initiative. He envisages involvement of around a dozen universities.
Todd told Horticulture Week he was keen to broaden the appeal of the initiative and find other income streams. Last year Keep Britain Tidy won a bid for the licence to run the scheme from the Department for Communities and Local Government.
He is working with the National Housing Federation to promote Green Flag in the social housing sector – another potential growth area for the award – and is running pilot projects.
Todd insisted that despite the demise of GreenSpace which was responsible for Green Flag judges' training and international development, the awards scheme is secure. His team is sifting through around 1,300 applications – almost the same as last year – and will make awards in July.
"There is support to keep the award running: it’s one of the few things out there that helps the industry and protects our green spaces," he said. "The importance of Green Flag will grow. With the loss of GreenSpace, it is one of the few things we have left to fight our corner."