Funded by National Lottery Community Fund, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Nesta.
The UK’s public parks are valuable community assets. Fields in Trust estimated that parks and greenspaces have a value of £34.2 billion per year to the UK’s population. However, like many other public services, parks are under increasing pressure, with limited resources available to adapt to changing circumstances. Innovative approaches are needed to ensure that parks and greenspaces can be sustainably run in the future. But UK parks have limited budget or time to invest in trialling new ways of working that could help alleviate the pressure.
This is why the National Lottery Community Fund, National Lottery Heritage Fund, and Nesta are working in partnership to support park innovators up and down the country via a £2 million innovation fund.
With Rethinking Parks 2018-2020 we are funding and supporting 13 projects to develop and test new ways of managing and financing the UK’s public parks. Our projects are wide ranging and offer parks a more sustainable future through parks foundations, renewable energy, community empowerment, ‘tap to give’ donations and wifi sensing in parks (see meet the grantees section below). Each project will have access to:
- Tailored Funding - we work with projects to co-design objectives and milestones and monitor progress with a dedicated named grant manager. Grants awarded between £100,000 - £200,000 over a period of 12-24 months.
- Capacity building support - working with projects we identify opportunities for bespoke capacity building support to help grow and develop their models including: marketing and communication, designing learning outputs, business development, fundraising and governance or specificalist skills such as prototyping etc.
- Community of park innovators - Our park innovators will form the initial basis of a community of park innovators. As they de-risk methods and models we hope that the parks community around them will also feel more confident about adopting new models. Thus we aim to create a community of park innovators who will actively support and advise each other.
This builds on our work between 2014 and 2016, when Rethinking Parks supported 11 projects to test new ideas for funding our public parks. You can read more about the grantees and what we learnt here.
We are working to identify and support clusters of innovation within the parks sector. Read more about some of them below.
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]