About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

The first Rethinking Parks programme was a £1 million fund supporting 11 projects to test new ideas for funding our public parks. We worked with teams across the UK, providing grant funding, specialist support, networking opportunities, and time for reflection and challenge, to test which approaches had the most promise.

These projects showed creative ways of working that offered real potential to scale and replicate. They projects tested alternative models of management, new uses of buildings, business engagement methods, voluntary giving and using parks as a space to upskill the community.

A map showing 2014-16 Rethinking Parks projects across the UK

Rethinking Parks 2014-16

Reports and learning resources

The open call for ideas was supported by a report, Rethinking Parks: Exploring New Business Models for Parks in the 21st Century.

At the end of the programme we published Rethinking Parks Highlights and Learning to Rethink Parks.

You can read more about each project below, including individual project publications where available.