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How to set up a Parks Foundation

This guide is for anybody currently in the process of thinking about how to find a sustainable business model for supporting their parks in perpetuity, and who is therefore thinking about starting a Parks Foundation in their area.

It will provide you with a clear outline of what a Parks Foundation can look like and achieve, guides on governance, funding and other practical questions, as well as case studies from organisations within the Rethinking Parks programme to help understand how to adapt this innovative way of supporting parks to your own area.

This report was written by Alice Casey, Head of New Operating Models at Nesta, Tiffany Gregor, Assistant Programme Manager at Nesta and Emily Reynolds, Freelance writer. Chris Norris, Dan Paskins, Drew Bennellick and Vicki Sellick helped shape this report.

About Rethinking Parks

Rethinking Parks is a £2 million programme funded by National Lottery Community Fund, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Nesta. Rethinking Parks is funding and supporting 13 organisations to develop innovative ways of managing and financing the UK’s public parks to make sure they are sustainable and are run more impactfully for their local communities.


Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Nesta is based in the UK and supported by a financial endowment. We work with partners around the globe to bring bold ideas to life to change the world for good.

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If you’d like this publication in an alternative format such as Braille or large print, you can contact NESTA at: [email protected]

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Author: NESTA (UK)

Estimated Read Time: 60 Minute Read