LOCAL NEWS: BCP Council wins share of £6m Future Parks fund

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BCP Council will receive part of a multi-million pound fund to find sustainable ways to manage and fund parks and open spaces.

The scheme is run by the National Trust and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, it is the first project of its kind in the UK.

They were one of eight chosen out of more than 80 applicants to receive a share of the £6m fund along with advice from leading experts in conservation, fundraising, volunteering and green space management.

£5m of the fund comes from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and £1.2m comes from the government.

Councillor Felicity Rice, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Environment and Climate Change commented: “Keeping our parks and open spaces running efficiently and attracting more people to actively use these beautiful and inspiring spaces are vital for health and well-being.

“This investment into BCP Council’s parks and open spaces highlights the confidence in our management of these areas and underpins our ethos to ensure these valuable spaces are protected and enhanced for future generations.

“It’s great to be investing in parks and green infrastructure given the huge issues of climate crisis and wildlife loss.”

What’s involved?

BCP Council will be working alongside Bournemouth Parks Foundation – an independent charity – on the plan that they submitted for the project.

Their plan includes a new green infrastructure strategy for the area, a business plan will be developed to support the development in the long-term. 

The stand-out factor in BCP’s application was their approach to park management and the plans to widen charitable partnerships in the area – including plans to better recognise volunteers for their work.

The project will test a landscape scale approach to managing space along the Stour Valley corridor – they hope to unite landowners, users and professionals together to enhance the area. 

Ros Kerslake, The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s CEO, said: “Our urban parks and green spaces are essential to the health and well-being of the nation and yet in some areas they are facing a very insecure future.

“Future Parks isn’t simply patching-up a few problem parks. It is enabling local authorities and communities to take a longer-term, strategic approach to managing, funding and maintaining them, so future generations will be able to enjoy their many benefits in hundreds of years from now.

“Developing strategic approaches and championing innovation are key elements of our new five-year funding strategy.

“Future Parks allows us to maximise our resources and to work with key partners to accelerate progress and share learning.” 

In the South-West both Bristol and Plymouth Councils secured funding for their projects.

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