New funding initiative to create ‘pocket parks’

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The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has announced a new programme that supports communities to work with local authorities and other partners to establish a pocket park. Pocket Parks are envisaged as small areas of inviting public space where people can enjoy relief from the hustle and bustle of city streets

DCLG is inviting proposals that provide a pocket park that the community welcomes, needs and values in any shape and form. They have adopted the definition of a Pocket Park used by the Mayor of London when he supported the establishment of 100 sites from 2012-2015.

“A Pocket Park is a piece of land of up to 0.4 hectares (although many are around 0.02 hectares, the size of a tennis court) which may already be under grass but which is unused, undeveloped or derelict”.

They can be both natural and more formal in character (and perhaps ideally a blend of both) on the basis that they will provide a green open space that offers habitat opportunities and opportunities for people to connect with nature. They must be openly accessible for the communities they will serve, and ideally offer open access for anyone wishing to use them.

DCLG is providing a £1.5 million fund to support the development of up to 100 pocket parks by communities in urban areas. This funding will help put communities and their partners in a position to take on the management of green spaces of value to them; and contribute resource towards turning around spaces so that they are in good condition and communities can focus on managing them for the future.

Applications must reach DCLG by email by 5:00pm on Thursday 10 December 2015. Full details and an application form can be found here.

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