Builders welcome Government funding for parks and green spaces

Funding of £13 million for local authorities to improve their parks and green spaces has been hailed as good for the housing market as well designed open spaces can encourage development.

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) has welcomed the new funding announced by Housing and Communities Secretary James Brokenshire, saying the move will have a positive impact and attract home buyers and movers.

Of the new funding some £9.7 million is to be made available for day to day maintenance and the creation of new spaces while a further £2.75 million confirmed for the Pocket parks plus programme.

And £1.2 million will be invested in the National Trust and The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Future Parks Accelerator initiative, a partnership that supports local authorities to test new and innovative approaches to managing and funding parks, ensuring the benefits of public parks and green spaces are enjoyed by future generations.

According to the NFB developers are increasingly delivering their own open spaces and therefore praise efforts to place green spaces at the heart of communities and communities need to see investment in green spaces and housing and it is constructive when one supports the other.

‘New and well maintained open spaces can encourage development by reassuring local people that new homes do not mean a loss of quality green and open space. Strategic green spaces are at the heart of our communities and we welcome every effort to make sure they remain there,’ said Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB.

The Government is committed to creating great places to live and work and ensure communities are able to enjoy the benefits parks and green spaces bring to local life, according to Brokenshire.

‘Our parks and green spaces are huge assets to our towns and cities, offering precious spaces for all of us to get together, to exercise and to play. This latest funding will support bold proposals to help renovate and restore existing parks and create new vibrant, safe green spaces for our communities,’ he said.

‘The future of our nation’s parks is an issue close to all our hearts and we will do all we can to preserve these vital green lungs that breathe life into our communities,’ he pointed out.

He added that the funding builds on action the Government has already taken to encourage more people to make better use of parks including creating the £1 million pocket parks fund to help communities transform neglected and derelict spaces and establish over 80 new green spaces in urban areas across the country.

The Green Flag Award licence by a further five years in September 2017 means the people behind Britain’s best parks and green spaces will continue to be recognised and awarded for their tireless dedication.

Brokenshire also said that the Government will continue to work with the Parks Action Group, which represents leaders from across the parks sector, to help ensure that current and future generations can continue to access safe, high quality and local parks.