Lottery appoints parks adviser

Shaun Kiddell joins Heritage Lottery Fund to offer support to parks managers and friends groups.

Sean Kiddell - image: HW
Sean Kiddell - image: HW

Shaun Kiddell, a former head of parks at Camden, Lambeth and the Royal Parks, has been appointed as parks policy adviser by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

His role will be to monitor parks that have won HLF funding after their restoration is complete.

"Capital works can take one-to-three years and Shaun will support projects on completion and well into their management plans," said head of landscape and natural heritage Drew Bennellick, adding that the role is "double-edged".

He said Kiddell will support parks managers and friends groups and encourage them to network to learn from each other. He will also signpost a new website, which launches in April.

Prosperous Parks will be run by the HLF, Big Lottery Fund and Land Trust to ensure parks managers do not "miss a trick" when it comes to generating income on site. Bennellick said good examples are not being shared by the parks sector.

"Shaun will travel around, find good ideas and encourage people to contribute to the website. Advice might include a different kind of grant, going for second-stage funding or seeking smaller funding to build a friends group capacity."

Kiddell will step in if parks fail to try to pull together expertise. But his role is more about supporting people than "waving a stick". The HLF was prompted to launch the post over fears about cash-starved parks.

"We get the occasional call from a friends group or parks manager asking for support and are aware that parks are lower down the priority list. But we have a responsibility on investment to make sure people are doing their best.

"We are realistic that local authorities have tough decisions to make, which his why this is about supporting them. It's not about saying: 'You must do this.' It's about us asking: 'What more can we do to help you?'"


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