Hectares

MAY DAY, MAY DAY SOS SAVE OUR PARKS!
Posted 01-May-2013

Could a new funding toolkit save our much valued parks and open spaces?

An innovative new toolkit designed to help secure a sustainable future for thousands of financially threatened parks and public open spaces across the country has been launched today.

The L

An innovative new toolkit designed to help secure a sustainable future for thousands of financially threatened parks and public open spaces across the country has been launched today.

The Land Trust has teamed up with the Heritage Lottery Fund and BIG Lottery Fund to create the Prosperous Parks income generation toolkit, which is hosted at www.prosperousparks.com, to demonstrate numerous innovative ways to secure the vital funding needed to manage parks and public spaces.

The free web based toolkit comes at a crucial time for the country’s parks, with many facing an uncertain future.  Parks are a discretionary service and therefore the budget cuts to local authority funds have caused many councils and park managers to make significant reductions in their parks services.

Matthew Bradbury, Director of Operations at the Land Trust says, “We are sending out a May Day distress signal for our parks as many now face an uncertain future and are at real risk of decline. Yet our parks are a vital part of life which is often sadly under-valued; for example parks provide a multitude of health benefits such as reducing the risk of heart attacks by 50%, strokes by 50%, diabetes by 50%, colon cancer by 30%, breast cancer by 30% and Alzheimer’s by 25%*. If a pharmaceutical company produced a new drug that provided all those benefits - it would be worth billions.”

The website provides community groups, park managers, land owners and local authorities with ideas and information about sustainable commercial income for parks.  The free, interactive online service funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, BIG Lottery Fund and the Land Trust provides innovative case studies,  examples of best practice and practical advice about sponsorship, ecosystem services and renewable energy and will help users find support networks, funding  and sustainable business planning resources to help them with planning for future income generation.

Drew Bennellick, Head of Landscape & Natural Heritage at Heritage Lottery Fund explains why the toolkit is desperately needed,

“The Heritage Lottery Fund has been a stalwart supporter of the UK’s public parks since 1996.  Our funding has seen the biggest investment in public parks since many were created in Victorian times. Over 700 parks have been rejuvenated which has resulted in increased visitor numbers, provision of new facilities and jobs, increased volunteering by local people and an enhanced sense of pride in their local area.  The Prosperous Parks toolkit provides a great opportunity to share lessons learned to help arm park managers, user groups and local authorities with the tools needed to help continue the renaissance of the great British park.”

Peter Ainsworth, Big Lottery Fund's UK Chair says, Peter Ainsworth, Big Lottery Fund's UK Chair says, “We’re pleased to support the development of a resource that will bring communities together to ensure that their local green space survives in this tough current climate.  Through celebrating and sharing the success of existing green spaces we hope this toolkit will help people to secure a sustainable future for more parks across the country.”

The web-based application will be an information hub which will assist parks and open space custodians to discover new ways to raise income on their spaces. One aspect of the website will be a 'data reservoir' which will point the user towards methods of revenue generation  and any organisations that might provide funding assistance such as such as power companies, fundraisers or event organisers. A second aspect to the website will be a case-study portal which shows real examples of how others have used income generation in the past to secure their spaces, giving helpful tips and advice. The website will invite users to enter information about their open space and will respond with personalised advice about income generation opportunities for their particular site.

The Land Trust expects the website to be an evolving vehicle that will grow as more and more parks groups make use of it. Through extensive consultation with parks and space managers across the country, it will provide a resource that will not only offer useful and helpful solutions but also enable those managers to avoid the costly pitfalls.

*Bird, W (2002) Green Space and Our Health: Paper to London Green Space Conference

toolkitlaunched
toolkitlaunched
Ground breaking green space income toolkit launched to save local parks from dereliction
Posted 23-Oct-2012

The Land Trust has teamed up with the Heritage Lottery Fund and BIG Lottery Fund to create an innovative toolkit designed to help secure a sustainable future for more public open spaces across the country.

The Land Trust has created the Prosperous Parks income generation toolkit to provide community groups, park managers, land owners and local authorities with ideas and information about sustainable

The Land Trust has created the Prosperous Parks income generation toolkit to provide community groups, park managers, land owners and local authorities with ideas and information about sustainable commercial income for parks.  The free, interactive online service funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and BIG Lottery Fund will provide information about case studies, best practice and practical advice about sponsorship, ecosystem services and renewable energy and will help users find support networks, funding bodies and sustainable business planning resources to help them with planning for future income generation.

Drew Bennellick, Head of Landscape & Natural Heritage at Heritage Lottery Fund explains why the toolkit is desperately needed, 'The Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund have awarded over £640 million to transform and regenerate parks and public spaces across the UK. But there is clear evidence that this capital investment is at risk without further income generation to protect it, a fate that has sadly befallen too many public parks over the years. The Prosperous Parks toolkit will help arm park managers, community groups and local authorities with the tools, guidance and inspiration to help break that cycle.'

Matthew Bradbury, Director of Operations at the Land Trust says, 'The changing economic and political landscape means the long term success of parks is becoming more dependent on the development of multiple, and often innovative, funding opportunities. As a national charity responsible for over 50 public open spaces, the Land Trust has front line experience of the challenges the sector is facing.'

Peter Ainsworth, Big Lottery Fund's UK Chair says, 'We are keen to empower communities to make a real and lasting difference to their environment. So we are proud to support the development of a resource that will do just that.'

The web-based application will be an information hub which will assist parks and open space custodians to discover new ways to raise income on their spaces. One aspect of the website will be a 'data reservoir' which will point the user towards facilitators of revenue generation such as power companies, fundraisers or event organisers. A second aspect to the website will be a case-study portal which shows real examples of how others have used income generation in the past to secure their spaces, giving helpful tips and advice. The website will invite users to enter information about their open space and will respond with personalised advice about income generation opportunities for their particular site.

The Land Trust expects the website to be an evolving vehicle that will grow as more and more parks groups make use of it. Through extensive consultation with parks and space managers across the country, it will provide a resource that will not only offer useful and helpful solutions but also enable those managers to avoid the costly pitfalls.

The first phase of the toolkit development will be announced at the UK Public Parks Summit on 25 October 2012, with the toolkit expected to be launched in early 2013.

Biggest national celebration of music in communities to take place this summer
Posted 24-Apr-2013

Our Big Gig, which takes place from 11th – 14th July, will see the whole country celebrate and enjoy music, showcase new and existing talent and increase participation in music making.

From school halls to concert halls - local communities and event organisers are being encouraged to get together, pick up instruments and programme gigs in their local areas for a UK wide music cel

From school halls to concert halls - local communities and event organisers are being encouraged to get together, pick up instruments and programme gigs in their local areas for a UK wide music celebration.

Plans have been unveiled today at London's iconic St Pancras Station for Our Big Gig, a new UK wide community led music celebration for 2013, taking place thanks to funding secured from the Department of Communities and Local Government and Arts Council England.

Launched by Communities Minister Don Foster, along with performers from the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, Our Big Gig builds on the success of previous annual Bandstand Marathon events. The initiative is coordinated by arts organisation Superact and last year's event marked the closing of the London 2012 Games with 9,000 people take part in the simultaneous playing of Coldplay's 'Viva La Vida' across the UK.

Our Big Gig 2013 will give members of the public the opportunity to attend free gigs in their local community, as well as participating in a range of musical activities particularly for those who are new to music. Hundreds of events across the UK between the 11th – 14th July will take place in indoor and outdoor performance spaces and local people can choose where they want to hold their event with an aim to showcase unique local music talent in unusual places.

The Our Big Gig initiative has today issued a call out for community event organisers to sign up to and get involved in putting on a gig in their area, bringing together diverse groups of people and celebrating their achievements as a community. 275 community events organisers will be selected to receive funding towards their event, marketing materials (posters, banner and t-shirts), PR support, training opportunities and the chance to have their event listed and promoted on the 'Our Big Gig' website.

Speaking at the launch Communities Minister Don Foster said: "These events will provide free music, entertainment and the chance for people right across the country to meet and get to know other residents of their city, town or village.  Last year 200,000 people attended free concerts over the closing weekend of the Paralympics, and just like the games themselves they brought people from all walks of life together.   The government is keeping the Olympics spirit alive and making the games and their legacy benefit current and future generations and these concerts are an important part of this."

Don Foster added: "I'm calling on all aspiring musicians and their communities and councils across the country to come forward and set up a free local concert this summer to showcase every kind of music and instrument from accordions to xylophones and zithers."

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: "Our Big Gig will be a real summer highlight. Up and down the country, communities will be involved in running their own music events, in a range of venues, introducing audiences to new bands, artists and styles of music.

"This is a great opportunity for communities to think big, to nurture home grown talent, and to come together, in celebrating the many joys that music can bring. I can’t wait to see the results."

Organisations can apply to host an 'Our Big Gig' and find out more information at www.ourbiggig.co.uk.