The National Trust has brought together a range of partners to explore an alternative future for parks. Together we created a vision for parks and green spaces in which they provide more benefits to more people and enjoy secure long-term, sustainable funding.
Our original feasibility work was part funded by the Rethinking Parks programme - a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund and Nesta – which provided a £1m fund to find and support organisations and partnerships to develop, implement and spread new approaches to sustaining and making the most of UK public parks.
Our project, 'Endowing parks for the 21st century' was one of eleven successful UK projects selected to take part in Rethinking Parks. We received grant funding of up to £100,000 and a package of non-financial support to develop, implement and test our idea through to December 2015.
National Trust worked with Social Finance and Shared Assets to test the feasibility of an endowment model for parks and present the findings of this work in this toolkit.
We are now working in partnership with Newcastle City Council as they look to establish a charitable trust to care for many of their parks and green spaces.
You can find out more about the partners below.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. More than £850million of money raised by National Lottery players has been invested in parks since 1996.
Our recent report, State of UK Public Parks 2016, outlined the financial challenges facing parks in light of local authority budget reductions and called on local and national government, communities and businesses to explore innovative ways to fund and maintain public parks.
We awarded Newcastle City Council £237,500 to test one such possible approach. HLF has invested more than £12million in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund to restore and upgrade some of Newcastle’s historic parks. This further funding will help protect that past investment and progress and further test ideas developed through the HLF-funded Rethinking Parks project. By sharing the development of these projects it is hoped that all those who manage and fund parks will learn from this pioneering work.