Community groups share £1.5m fund to transform neglected urban spaces

A project in Wolverhampton that aims to turn a 30-year-old tipping zone into a natural wildlife area is among 87 schemes that will share a £1.5 million government fund for work to transform neglected urban spaces.

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

The Conservative Party made a manifesto pledge to launch an "ambitious programme" of pocket parks, which it described as "small areas of inviting public space where people can enjoy relief from the hustle and bustle of city streets".

The Department for Communities and Local Government announced in November that £1.5 million would be made available to support the delivery of up to 100 pocket parks across the country.

A prospectus issued by the DCLG said at the time 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 DCLG said this week that 87 community groups across the country would share the £1.5 million fund. Each has been allocated grants of up to £15,000 to create a pocket park.

The winning bids include a project in Wolverhampton that seeks to transform a 30-year-old tipping zone into a natural wildlife area. It aims to work with local residents and people with poor mental health or physical disabilities to create the pocket park.

Others include a project to turn an unused area of tarmac in Penryn into a native Cornish garden with space place for children to play outdoors.

Communities secretary Greg Clark, said: "Parks and green spaces breathe life into our bustling towns and cities providing communities with precious spaces to get together, exercise and play.

"These winning bids all have a strong community focus at the core of their plans and their designers have thought up highly creative ideas to turn unloved urban spaces into the green lungs of their communities that will be enjoyed for years to come."


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