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Sowing the seeds for success: The case for investing in our local parks

Source: Greenspace Scotland Dec 2021

https://www.greenspacescotland.org.uk/news/sowing-the-seeds-for-success-the-case-for-investing-in-our-local-parks

Greenspace Scotland Report.pdf

 

A new report, ‘The State of the UK Public Parks’, published by the Association for Public Service Excellence, finds that from 2010 onwards parks budgets have reduced by £690 million, leading to industry calls to stem this decline and leverage new investment in these valuable local community assets. With local councils responsible for managing 85% of the UK’s urban parks, the past decade of austerity has delivered sharp cuts to parks repairs and maintenance budgets.

This follows on from the previous ‘State of the UK Public Parks’ published by the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2016, the report identified that there was a need for central government, local authorities and a variety of partners to work together to address the problem of declining budgets, and the impact of the loss of finance on the quality, availability and future sustainability of UK’s parks.

The report authors found that the impact of the COVID-19 health pandemic has created further challenges for UK parks. The double impact of parks becoming the lifeline for local communities during lockdown and travel restrictions, the ability to raise income from activities such as cafes, sports pitch hire and events was effectively stopped by public health restrictions. As this income had become a lifeline to parks during the age of austerity, to meet the gaps in local budgets. The loss of income but at the very point when footfall in parks has massively increased, placing additional budgetary pressures to clean, and maintain, our parks for the benefit of local communities.

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