Slagheaps transformed into parkland under new scheme

Pilot scheme to set president for derelict land and improve community life

Three slagheaps are the first areas to be made into 10,000ha of parkland in a new government scheme. Deputy prime minister John Prescott says the Land Restoration Trust (LRT) — a collaboration bet-ween Groundwork, the Forestry Commission, English Partnerships and the Environment Agency — aims to transform brownfield land into green space. English Partnerships has given £3.5 million to kick-start the work. The trust will restore 1,500ha in a three-year pilot and 10,000ha in the next 10 years. The LRT’s first three projects are English Partnership National Coalfield Programme sites at Monkton in the North East and Bentley and Hickleton, both in Yorkshire. LRT chief executive Euan Hall said restoring derelict land improves community life. He added: “The trust aims to raise the profile of green spaces in our daily lives, developing not only improved social cohesion but raising an area’s economic prosperity.” Prescott told delegates the Government is “tackling the legacy” to begin a “real urban renaissance”. He added that the £22 billion Sustainable Communities Plan, £30 million Living Spaces scheme, £89 million Liveability Fund and the Land Restoration Trust are “important initiatives” in regeneration.

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