Manchester City Council is set to launch a £960,000 fund to help improve local parks across the city and is asking local community groups to come forward with their ideas for new projects.
The Parks in Partnership fund, which will be invested in 2021/22, will be split among each of the city’s 32 wards, with £30,000 available in each area to support new projects that raise standards and sustainability within parks, while widening participation, access and inclusivity - for example by enhancing play facilities, parks furniture, or signage. Expressions of interest in the funds will be sought from the start of April 2021, with information to be made available at www.manchester.gov.uk/parks.
The new fund is part of a wider £12.5m funding package being brought forward for projects which support the long-term sustainability of local parks and green spaces, as part of the council's Parks Development Programme.
The main bulk of the capital investment will support larger projects ranging from £30,000 to £2.5m and will involve the council working with existing partners to broaden local parks' offer of activities and facilities for the public. Potential example projects could include new cafes, sports facilities, family attractions and community spaces. These larger projects will need to demonstrate how they are aligned with the themes of Manchester’s Parks strategy and how they can contribute to the city’s ambitious aim of becoming zero carbon by 2038 at the latest.
Councillor Luthfur Rahman OBE, Executive Member for Skills, Culture and Leisure, said: “The social and environmental benefits that parks bring to our city cannot be overstated. People love to live near them because of the connection with nature they offer. As cherished places where friends and families meet and where children play, they make us healthier, happier and help us to keep active, which has been particularly crucial during the current pandemic.
“By supporting a range of new projects and the creation of new facilities, this funding boost will help ensure that our parks and green spaces continue to act as the heart, lungs and soul of Manchester - enhancing them for the communities they serve and making them more attractive places to visit, not just for today’s Mancunians, but also for future generations.”