£1.5m boost for 'pocket parks' in deprived urban areas

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has announced £1.5 million of funding to create up to 100 'pocket parks' in deprived urban areas.

Paley Park: DCLG said pocket parks were first created in New York in the 1960s (picture by Aleksandr Zykov, Flickr)
Paley Park: DCLG said pocket parks were first created in New York in the 1960s (picture by Aleksandr Zykov, Flickr)

In a statement issued last week, the department invited bids from communities for funding to support them with establishing pocket parks - described by the DCLG as "small areas of inviting public space where people can enjoy relief from the hustle and bustle of city streets".

It said that proposals could include "creating wildlife habitats, transforming run-down gardens or simply creating green oases in bustling neighbourhoods".

A prospectus issued by the DCLG said that the parks should be pieces of land of up to 0.4 hectares, "which may already be under grass, but which is unused, undeveloped or derelict".

The prospectus said that the objective of the programme is to deliver up to 100 pocket parks across deprived urban areas in England in 2015/16, with grants of around £10,000 to £15,000 per project, comprised of up to £10,000 of capital funding and up to £5,000 of revenue funding.

It said that the department is "particularly" seeking applications from urban areas where there are "significantly" deprived wards according to the Indices of Multiple Deprivation rankings, "and these will be prioritised in our assessment".

"The application must be a community-led proposal which comes from any group with a constitution working within a deprived urban area where the access to green space is poor or can be shown to be needed," the prospectus said.

Communities secretary Greg Clark said: "Today’s £1.5 million funding for pocket parks will help transform scores of unloved spaces across our country, providing communities with parks that will be enjoyed for years to come."

The DCLG said that applications must be submitted by Thursday 10 December 2015.

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