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Green light given to over 80 pocket parks

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Urban space

More than 80 unloved and neglected urban spaces across the country will be transformed into green havens for everyone to use, thanks to a share of a £1.5m fund, Communities Secretary Greg Clark has announced.

Increasing the availability of green space draws more people outside, giving residents, particularly in urban areas without gardens of their own, more space to relax, get together with their neighbours, grow food and provide a safe space for their children to play.

Now 87 community groups, from Newcastle to Penryn in Cornwall, will have the money to create their own 'dream' pocket parks, developing small parcels of land, sometimes as small as the size of a tennis court.

Communities secretary Greg Clark said: "Parks and green spaces breathe life into our bustling towns and cities providing communities with precious spaces to get together, exercise and play.

"Our funding will benefit urban areas with few green spaces, delivering on the Government's manifesto commitment to deliver pocket parks across our country.

"These winning bids all have a strong community focus at the core of their plans and their designers have thought up highly creative ideas to turn unloved urban spaces into the green lungs of their communities that will be enjoyed for years to come."

Winning bids include:

· Permarin Community Group, who plan to turn an unused area of tarmac in Penryn into a native Cornish garden with space place for children to play outdoors.

· The One Voice - Action for Disability Community Group in Wolverhampton, who plan to turn a 30-year-old tipping zone into a natural wildlife area, working with local residents and people with poor mental health or physical disabilities to create the pocket park.

· The Monkey Park Community Interest company in Chesterfield who will use their funding to build a riverside walkway, allowing people to walk along the Holme Brook and enjoy the natural green space threading through the heart of the community.

· The Friends of The Chuckery Village Green in Walsall will make the most of the cherry trees on their derelict plot by planting an edible herb and vegetable garden with a plan to create pies and jams.

· Cherry Orchard Gardening Services, a community group in Staffordshire, have been awarded funding to create a pocket "Park-our" for local teenagers to practice parkour, the increasingly popular urban sport, in a safe environment.

Full details of all the winners  are available on an interactive map.

Graham Duxbury, Groundwork chief executive, said: "Every year Groundwork helps hundreds of thousands of people of all ages to organise and work together to protect, preserve, improve or create green spaces on their doorstep.

"We're delighted the government is supporting communities and councils to do more. For many local groups, improving the park at the end of their street is the first step in getting much more involved in how their neighbourhood is run."

Green light given to over 80 pocket parks thanks to £1.5m fund

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