Joint Parks Foundation in Bristol and Bath

Bristol City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council are set to develop a Parks Foundation to support public parks across the two cities.

Having jointly been awarded almost £200,000 from innovation foundation Nesta, the Rethinking Parks programme funding will build on, and learn from, the work of the Bournemouth Parks Foundation, set up in 2014 to sustain and enhance parks across the region.

The foundation aims to allow residents, visitors, community organisations and local businesses to support improvements and activities in parks and develop sustainable relationships between business, parks and their communities. This, in turn, enables public donations for specific projects both in individual parks and across the cities and encourages and facilitate more volunteering in parks.

Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor with responsibility for parks, said: “We are really delighted that Nesta have approved our joint bid and are really excited about the potential to create an independent charitable body that can help add value to support parks across the two cities of Bristol and Bath.

“This project is still at a very early stage, but we hope that working with a range of partners will really benefit all our publicly owned parks and green spaces that play a vital role in the city’s health and well-being. We are working hard to find sustainable solutions for the future of the parks service, and we want to continue to ensure everyone in Bristol has access to good quality, attractive and enjoyable parks and green spaces throughout the city.”

Bob Goodman, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods & Development, said: “We are extremely proud of our public parks and the valuable role they play in improving the lives of our residents. We also appreciate how they validate the cultural experience of visiting our beautiful neighbouring areas.

“Our award will focus on improving and enhancing these benefits with opportunities to be available for local champions to help unlock access to funding by volunteering their knowledge and skills in their green spaces. We are extremely pleased to working in partnership with Bristol and Bournemouth on this valuable project and we are sure that our collaborative working can take us forward more quickly than would otherwise be the case.”

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