£1m fund launched for community ‘pocket’ parks

Community groups can now bid for funds to establish a new pocket park or refurbish an existing park.

Pocket parks are small plots of land, often about the size of a tennis court, and mostly seen in urban spaces. They provide a green oasis which can help improve the physical and mental health of the communities using them.

Existing pocket parks are used for everything from a quiet escape from busy city life to physical exercise, growing vegetables, children’s play and community events.

The Government define a pocket park as a piece of land of up to 0.4 hectares (although many are around 0.02 hectares, the size of a tennis court) which may already be under grass, but which is unused, undeveloped or derelict.

Parks and Green Spaces Minister Rishi Sunak MP said: ‘ Green spaces offer people a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of life to relax, keep healthy, learn about nature or spend time together with loved ones.

‘Not all communities enjoy access to an abundance of usable space, while some existing parks might need a bit of TLC to bring them back to life. The pocket parks plus fund will help local people to create and maintain small oases that they can take pride in and benefit from for years to come.’

There is no prescription on what a pocket park should look like and both innovative and traditional proposals are welcomed. The Government are also keen to see applications from projects aiming to improve their local town centre or high street with a community green space. The aim is to increase access to good quality green space in a sustainable and community-led manner.

Read more here.

Thomas Barrett

Thomas Barrett

Journalist. Follow him on Twitter

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