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UK Government announces £39m levelling up investment in parks and green spaces

02 February 2022

New announcement will see cash targeted at those with lowest access to quality green space.

The UK Government announcement today of a total of £39 million to refurbish parks in areas of the country with the lowest access to green space has been welcomed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.

Alongside the existing £9m UK-wide Levelling Up Parks Fund which provides direct grants to deliver over 100 green spaces in the communities with the lowest access, a new £30m parks fund will deliver up to £1m to at least 30 local parks in England for refurbishment with an emphasis on facilities for young families.

Over the past two years, we have seen how essential parks and green spaces are to people’s well-being and this much-needed investment was described by the charity’s Chief Executive today as a welcome first step in the drive to ensure that everyone in the country has access to a quality park, regardless of where they live.

Keep Britain Tidy manages the Green Flag Award on behalf of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and, while the number of parks reaching the international Green Flag Award standard – the mark of a quality green space – has increased each year, there are far more award-winning parks in London and the South-East than in the rest of the country.

Commenting on the announcement, the charity’s Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “It is fantastic to see the Government recognise that access to quality parks and green space must be part of the levelling-up agenda.

“We know from our research that for parks to be able to contribute to improvements in health and wellbeing, they must be accessible, well-managed and maintained and offer something for everyone within the community.

“Parks funding has been significantly reduced over time but this targeted money is a first step in the right direction and an acknowledgement that parks are a vital part of our country’s green infrastructure.”