Parks and cemeteries from across the UK have today received £34.5m in Lottery cash to support restoration and fundraising.
Some 13 parks will receive backing from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund, including Beckenham Place Park in the London borough of Lewisham – which will receive £4.9m.
The news follows publication of a recent HLF report that warned public parks were at ‘serious risk of decline’ unless innovative new means of funding and maintenance are uncovered.
Today’s funding is designed to allow restoration of historic features, installation of new community facilities and development of activities to help parks become more sustainable.
Ealing’s Gunnersbury Park will see over £4.6m, while Watford’s Cassiobury Park was allocated £4.5m.
Carole Souter, chief executive of HLF, said: ‘Our report revealed how valued public parks are by people and communities and how essential they are to our physical and emotional well-being.
‘But the report makes clear that our parks face an uncertain future and so it’s exciting to see how this new investment is going some way towards helping find new ways of funding and maintaining them so they are still here to be enjoyed long into the future.’
Communities minister, Stephen Williams, said: ‘Parks bring people together and help breathe life into communities, providing opportunities and space for both reflection and physical activity.
‘They are particularly important to people in town and city centres where many residents don't have their own gardens for relaxation and for their children to play.’