Prosperous Parks: ground breaking green space income toolkit launched to save local parks from dereliction
The Land Trust has teamed up with the Heritage Lottery Fund and BIG Lottery Fund to create an innovative toolkit designed to help secure a sustainable future for more public open spaces across the country.
The Land Trust has created the Prosperous Parks income generation toolkit to provide community groups, park managers, land owners and local authorities with ideas and information about sustainable commercial income for parks. The free, interactive online service funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and BIG Lottery Fund will provide information about case studies, best practice and practical advice about sponsorship, ecosystem services and renewable energy and will help users find support networks, funding bodies and sustainable business planning resources to help them with planning for future income generation.
Drew Bennellick, Head of Landscape & Natural Heritage at Heritage Lottery Fund explains why the toolkit is desperately needed, 'The Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund have awarded over £640 million to transform and regenerate parks and public spaces across the UK. But there is clear evidence that this capital investment is at risk without further income generation to protect it, a fate that has sadly befallen too many public parks over the years. The Prosperous Parks toolkit will help arm park managers, community groups and local authorities with the tools, guidance and inspiration to help break that cycle.'
Matthew Bradbury, Director of Operations at the Land Trust says, 'The changing economic and political landscape means the long term success of parks is becoming more dependent on the development of multiple, and often innovative, funding opportunities. As a national charity responsible for over 50 public open spaces, the Land Trust has front line experience of the challenges the sector is facing.'
Peter Ainsworth, Big Lottery Fund's UK Chair says, 'We are keen to empower communities to make a real and lasting difference to their environment. So we are proud to support the development of a resource that will do just that.'
The web-based application will be an information hub which will assist parks and open space custodians to discover new ways to raise income on their spaces. One aspect of the website will be a 'data reservoir' which will point the user towards facilitators of revenue generation such as power companies, fundraisers or event organisers. A second aspect to the website will be a case-study portal which shows real examples of how others have used income generation in the past to secure their spaces, giving helpful tips and advice. The website will invite users to enter information about their open space and will respond with personalised advice about income generation opportunities for their particular site.
The Land Trust expects the website to be an evolving vehicle that will grow as more and more parks groups make use of it. Through extensive consultation with parks and space managers across the country, it will provide a resource that will not only offer useful and helpful solutions but also enable those managers to avoid the costly pitfalls.
The first phase of the toolkit development will be announced at the UK Public Parks Summit on 25 October 2012, with the toolkit expected to be launched in early 2013.
The Land Trust is a not for profit organisation that provides long term sustainable management of open spaces and green infrastructure across the country. Each of our 50 open spaces across the country is a crucial part of the social landscape, delivering a range of significant benefits for residents and businesses. Well designed, safe and accessible open spaces can deliver significant community benefits: improving health, social cohesion, providing an educational resource and uplifting the local economy, so we take them seriously.
Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported over 30,000 projects, allocating £4.9billion across the UK. www.hlf.org.uk
The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery. BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since June 2004 BIG has awarded over £4.4bn. www.biglotteryfund.org.uk