The Big Lottery Fund announced today that it will invest a
further £20million in England's public parks and cemeteries.
Combined with Heritage Lottery Fund's (HLF) commitment of £20m per
year under the Parks for People programme in
England, this takes the total budget available to £30m per year for
HLF will also continue to make an additional £4m available for
projects in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The news comes a year after HLF pledged to continue investing in
public parks after its report State of UK Public Parks
2014: Renaissance to Risk revealed that they are at
serious risk of decline unless innovative new ways of funding and
maintaining them are found.
This news extends the agreement between the Big Lottery
Fund and HLF, which has seen a total of nearly £290m of National
Lottery cash invested in reviving over 126 historic green spaces
Parks for People provides
grants of between £100,000 and £5million to restore and rejuvenate
historic parks and cemeteries. Organisations can apply for funding
for projects that repair heritage features, open new facilities and
run volunteering and activity programmes, involving the community
in the running of the park.
Peter Ainsworth, Chair of the Big Lottery Fund, said:
"Green spaces are vital to the happiness and health of our
communities, so we're really pleased to be continuing our support
for the Parks for People programme. In partnership with HLF we've
invested almost £290m since 2006 in rejuvenating our parks to help
make sure they can be enjoyed now and for years to
Sir Peter Luff, Chair of HLF, said: "Parks are rightly
among the UK's most highly valued and well-used public spaces and
inspire much local pride. There is increasing demand on National
Lottery players' money but I'm sure they will welcome the
continuation of this productive partnership with the Big Lottery
Fund. Our 'Parks for People' programme plays a major part in
ensuring these precious green sanctuaries thrive. I hope even more
communities across the UK will come forward to bid for a share of
Applications for the next round of Parks for People funding are
now open until the 29 February 2016 and the first grants from this
new investment will be awarded in June 2016.