William Eichler 03 March 2020

Community groups get £1.35m to create ‘pocket parks’

Dozens of community groups will receive funding to transform neglected urban spaces into ‘thriving green havens’, the Government has announced.

Communities secretary Robert Jenrick today declared the names of the groups who will get a share of a £1.35m fund dedicated to creating 68 new ‘pocket parks’.

The funding will help community groups create 19 brand new parks and refurbish 49 currently unused plots of land, increasing access to green spaces and increasing biodiversity in towns and cities.

These new grants will fund the third round of Pocket Parks since the scheme launched in 2016.

‘Pocket parks are used for everything from exercise and gardening to socialising and relaxing. They have huge benefits for our mental and physical health and allow us to take a moment out of our busy lives to connect with nature,’ said Mr Jenrick.

‘We are determined to protect our nation’s parks for future generations to enjoy, and on World Wildlife Day, I am delighted to announce the recipients of the extra £1.35m for the Pocket Parks fund – adding 68 new parks, which will take the total we’ve backed to 352.

‘Creating more pocket parks is part of this Government’s ambition to ensure that communities have a real sense of identity and place, and that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy green spaces in their local area.’

Allison Ogden-Newton, chief executive of environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy which runs the Green Flag Award scheme for parks and green spaces, welcomed the announcement.

‘This is great news for people and for the environment, creating more parks and green spaces at the heart of communities,’ she said.

‘We look forward to seeing many of these sites achieve the Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award in the years to come.’

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