Eleven parks in England have secured joint investment of £23m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund.
The parks include Alexandra Park in London, Lightwoods Park near Birmingham and Holywells Park in Ipswich.
The investment comes at a time when public parks are struggling thanks to the economic climate and the HLF has commissioned a major report which will provide a thorough insight into the situation faced by the sector (for more details see Friday's issue of HW).
Announcing the funding Carole Souter, chief executive of HLF, said on behalf of HLF and the Big Lottery Fund:
"This investment in our public parks could not be more timely. We know how much people value their parks. With the National Lottery’s continued funding we can help make sure that they remain at the heart of community life.
"However, we also know that parks, like many local services, are at risk of reductions in funding at present, which is why we’re announcing research today which will provide the evidence to show how important parks are to quality of life and so help them survive and thrive in these difficult times."
Alan Titchmarsh, gardener and broadcaster, commented: "Public parks are so important to people’s well-being but - like all landscapes and gardens - they need continuous love and care to keep them in good condition. With sources of funding increasingly hard to find, failure to invest properly in maintenance in particular means that our much-loved parks are at risk of becoming places that are no longer safe or fit for purpose.
"We must not take our public parks for granted. I’m delighted to hear that HLF and Big Lottery Fund continue to invest lottery money into parks and that the new research will highlight the serious issues our parks are facing so that more can be done to help safeguard these precious green places."
HLF/Big Lottery Fund joint confirmed grants - England
- Boultham Park, Lincoln – £2.7m
- Holywells Park, Ipswich, Suffolk - £2.9m
- Alexandra Park Road, London - £1.5m
- West Hackney Recreation Ground, London - £690,700
- Eastcote House Gardens, London - £1.3m
- Langton Gardens, London - £1.9m
- Memorial Park, Fleetwood, Lancashire - £2m
- Westgate Gardens and Landscape, Canterbury, Kent - £766,800
- Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge, Dudley - £2.6m
- Lightwoods Park, Smethwick, near Birmingham - £3.6m
- Cliffe Castle Park, Keighley, West Yorkshire - £3.5m
Projects in the pipeline
In addition, initial support plus £1,169,900 of development funding has been awarded to six parks projects:
Joint initial HLF/Big Lottery Fund support – England
- Highfields Park, Nottingham – for a £3.1m HLF/BIG bid, including £280,500 development funding
- Houghton Hall Park, Dunstable, Bedfordshire – for a £2.1m HLF/BIG bid, including £215,100 development funding
- Avenue House Trust, Finchley, London – for a £2m HLF/BIG bid, including £101,600 development funding
- Rivington Terraced Gardens, Rivington, Bolton – for a £3.4m HLF/BIG bid, including £63,700 development funding
- Page Park, South Gloucestershire – for a £1.7m HLF/BIG bid, including £117,000 development funding
HLF only initial support – ScotlandSaughton Park, Edinburgh, Lothian – for a £4.1m HLF/BIG bid, including £392,000 development funding