09 November 2015
Funding is now available to transform some of England's most
unloved small spaces into Manhattan-style 'pocket
parks'. Community groups supported by local authorities will
be invited to apply for a slice of £1.5million funding, which could
see up to 100 under-used sites turned into small parks for people
to enjoy right in the middle of some of the country's biggest towns
Pocket parks were first created in New York in the 1960s as
people increasingly looked for green spaces among the towering
skyscrapers. The most famous example is the award-winning Paley
Park in Manhattan, which includes a 20-foot high waterfall and an
overhead canopy formed by locust trees.
Proposals could include creating wildlife habitats,
transforming run-down gardens or simply creating green oases in
bustling neighbourhoods. Pocket parks are defined for this
funding as a piece of land of up to 0.4 hectares, although many are
around 0.02 hectares - the size of a tennis court.
Communities Secretary Greg Clark said, "Parks and green
spaces give us all a chance to relax and unwind from the rigours of
modern life. They breathe life into our bustling towns and cities,
and provide valuable space for communities to socialise, take part
in exercise and children to play. 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."
Communities Minister Marcus Jones said, "Parks are the
gateway to the great outdoors and can provide a real boost to
people's wellbeing. They are particularly important in town centres
where many don't have their own gardens. That's why with this new
funding we are regenerating underused spaces and helping to make
sure everyone has access to the green space they
The programme will build on the success of a similar scheme in
London, which has seen a number of pocket parks created across the
capital. Examples include St Luke's Wildlife Garden in Hackney
which has transformed a courtyard in the centre of a residential
housing estate into a new natural play space and the Dinosaur Play
Park in Haringey, which is turning a poor quality and underused
play area into a space for local families to enjoy.
- The project invites communities, with the support of their
local authority, to make an application for up to £10,000 capital
and up to £5,000 resource funding per project. The deadline for
applications is 5:00pm on Thursday 10 December.
- The funders are particularly interested in enabling
communities living in deprived urban areas who currently have less
access to green space to take the lead in improving their public
space and as such would welcome applications from urban areas where
there are significantly deprived wards.
- There is no prescription on what a pocket park should look like
- both innovative and traditional proposals are welcome. They are
also keen to see applications from projects aiming to improve their
local town centre or high street with a community green space. The
aim is to increase access to good quality green space in a
sustainable and community-led manner.
- The application form and frequently asked
questions can be found here. Any questions please