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


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Battery blowers Reviewed: will battery blowers go the distance?

Battery blowers Reviewed: will battery blowers go the distance?

Fed up of having to start and restart blowers? Then there is the refuelling, mixing the two-stroke and carrying a spare can. Once running, emissions can be unpleasant and noise from a petrol engine demands earmuffs be worn. An alternative is battery power.

Pruners reviewed: what's the latest in pruning equipment?

Pruners reviewed: what's the latest in pruning equipment?

In a gunslinging action, Nixon twirls a loop-handled pruner around his finger and pretends to holster the tool. But there are no cowboys here.

What's new in walk-behinds and ride-ons?

What's new in walk-behinds and ride-ons?

A striped finish, rapid zero-turning and tenacious flails are strengths in these new mowers, writes Sally Drury.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +

HORTICULTURE WEEK Custodian Awards

The Horticulture Week Custodian Awards are open to all professionals responsible for the management and development of parks, gardens and other green spaces. Find out more about how and why you should enter the 2019 Custodian Awards.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Products & Kit Resources

HORTICULTURE WEEK Custodian Awards

Find out more about the outstanding parks, gardens and arboricultural projects and teams that became our Custodian Award 2018 winners.