Its interesting reading and there will be funds available to try out some new ideas: over the next two years, Nesta, The Heritage Lottery Fund and The Big Lottery Fund will back a small number of pioneering innovations, with a focus on finding the new business models that will enable our parks to thrive for the next century.
I have a telephone conversation booked with NESTA next week to talk about this opportunity for our region. Keep checking this blog for more information.
Rethinking Parks: is a report by NESTA - an independent charity whose mission is to help people and organisations bring great ideas to life by providing investments and grants and mobilising research, networks and skills and using partnerships with other innovators, community organisations, educators and investors.
Download Rethinking Parks (PDF 2.9MB)
Key findings of the report:
- Many of the UK's public parks face an uncertain future with a reduction of up to 60 per cent in public subsidy looming, putting their management and maintenance at risk.
- While public subsidy will remain a big part of the picture, new approaches to managing parks are needed.
- There are already examples of successful parks business models in the UK and internationally.
- These include new models of management, funding and organisation, often involving community, social and private enterprises.
- But more must be done. The most promising areas worthy of further exploration for ensuring public parks continue to thrive are: changes in park management and maintenance, new organisational structures, more diverse funding sources, and identifying new uses for parks.
Within the UK examples already exist of new ways to think about how to sustain our public parks: in places private management models for public parks maybe the answer whilst elsewhere cooperative management with local communities may be a more viable option, perhaps long-term management by ‘Friends of’ groups and enabling charities to provide day to day management in lieu of rent for use of facilities.
Opportunities exist too for parks to play a long term role in tackling climate change, in helping unwell people manage long-term conditions, in fighting the obesity epidemic and in providing opportunities for children to learn about food growth.