The new Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) strategic framework for 2013-18 will safeguard continued lottery cash-injections for parks in the face of the crisis in local authority support, the body's landscape head Drew Bennelick has confirmed.
Speaking at the launch of HLF Strategic Framework 2013-18: A Lasting Difference for Heritage & People, Bennelick said: "The parks programme will continue until 2018. Evaluation last year showed that the programme has delivered better than expected and there is strong demand."
He said parks professionals want no change in application methods because there has been so much change in the sector recently. He added that new emphasis would be on maintenance planning and business skills.
Funding for the whole HLF programme is £375m a year over 2013-18, but how much will be earmarked for parks is yet to be confirmed. For projects over £2m, applicants must provide evidence of their carbon footprint.
Innovation charity Nesta, the Big Lottery Fund and social enterprises/community trusts met last week to talk about rethinking parks.
Bennelick said: "There is a crisis and funding is the key issue. We talked about leadership and valuing parks and sustainability. There's more we could do to help improve their business skills and being more entrepreneurial in raising income."
An HLF/Big Lottery Fund summit to be held in London in October will bring together chief executives from local authorities and elected politicians.
Bennelick said: "They decide what happens in parks. We need to make them understand the effect of cutting budgets. We have to get to people who don't understand the values of parks." See www.hlf.org.uk/strategicframework2013to2018.
Private support Funding linked to access
Monies will be available to extend Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) support for buildings in private ownership under the Our Heritage programme "provided they achieve a step-change in terms of public access and engagement".
HLF landscape head Drew Bennelick said: "It's good news for landscapes." Temples and follies with no obvious use can now be funded. But buildings with a potential commercial use, such as lodges, are ineligible.
The HLF is still working up details on how much money will be released later in the year.