The National Lottery funding body, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the National Trust have partnered to find and back “ambitious and sustainable” solutions to protect and enhance public parks and green spaces.
The Future Parks Accelerator (FPA) is a UK-wide £10m strategic initiative to enable up to eight local authorities and communities to develop and implement bold and innovative funding and management solutions for all their green spaces across their place, against a challenging backdrop of financial uncertainty.
The FPA will support places to grow the contribution parks make to civic life whilst becoming financially sustainable. It will involve discovering how parks and green spaces could be better used, managed and funded to serve community needs and aspirations now and over the next generation.
With grant funding and support from a team of experts, the places chosen to be FPA pioneers will work as a cohort to catalyse and share innovation, learn rapidly together and build their capacity to lead for ambitious change both in their place and to benefit the rest of the UK.
Hilary McGrady, director-general of National Trust, said: “The National Trust was founded in the late 19th century to protect urban green space from development for everyone in the local community to enjoy. Those founding principles remain as relevant today as public parks and green spaces are again under significant pressure, this time from budget cuts.
“That’s why we are committed to offering our expertise and experience to help councils and communities to find long-term solutions which will not only safeguard their public green spaces, but allow them to thrive. There’s no one size fits all approach and different places will have different opportunities and challenges.”