Bristol has been awarded almost £1m in funding to transform its green spaces, as part of a national project to find sustainable ways to manage parks.
The city is one of eight places across the country selected by the National Trust and The National Lottery Heritage Fund to take part in its Future Parks programme.
Bristol City Council will benefit from the pot of money, which is from a share of more than £6m of funding and £5m worth of advice and support from some of the country’s experts in conservation, fundraising, volunteering and green space management.
Future Parks is designed to help councils find sustainable ways to manage and fund parks and open spaces. Last year the council submitted its plan to put together a Bristol Parks Prospectus that will focus on green spaces where health and wellbeing can be enhanced, and explore where parks can help with business activity.
Councillor Asher Craig, deputy mayor with responsibility for parks and green spaces, said: “Bristol has great ambitions for our parks and green spaces, but as a council we recognise that we cannot realise these without working closely with our partners. In facing the challenge presented by budget cuts, we need to explore new ways to generate income to support parks.
“The opportunity is to find partners who can add value to the parks experience within a service which is free to use and of benefit to all. Visiting a park, whether to exercise, meet friends, or simply relax, is good for our health and wellbeing. But not everyone can access a park easily, and consequently too many people are missing out.
“The Parks Prospectus will identify the potential of parks to deliver health benefits matched to areas of greatest need and invite partners to provide health-based programmes from parks including mental health and physical exercise programmes.”
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