It's green for go for county's parks

The future of Cambridgeshire’s and Peterborough’s parks and green spaces is looking much brighter after the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough local authorities, and Natural Cambridgeshire – the Local Nature Partnership was chosen as one of only ten projects, nationally, to successfully receive funding from a prestigious multi-million-pound initiative.

The project will receive £700,000 from the ground breaking Future Parks scheme by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the National Trust.

The Cambridgeshire & Peterborough project was chosen from more than 80 other projects submitted by councils and communities across the UK to receive a share of more than £6m of funding and £5m worth of advice and support from some of the country’s leading experts in conservation, fundraising, volunteering and green space management.

Cambridgeshire County Council is the lead partner in collaboration with Cambridge City Council, Peterborough City Council, East Cambridgeshire District Council, Fenland District Council, Huntingdonshire District Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council as well as local charities, developers and businesses including Natural Cambridgeshire, Nene Park Trust, the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, the National Trust, RSPB, Urban & Civic, and O&H Hampton.

The aim is to secure the future of the county’s parks and green spaces so that they can continue to play a vital part of the community, a place for wildlife to thrive and for people to meet and play, by identifying sustainable sources of investment, building community ownership, sharing best practice and developing vital management skills.

Gillian Beasley, Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “I am delighted that Cambridgeshire County Council’s partnership has been chosen as one of only ten projects to receive funding from Future Parks. “It is vital that we are able to sustain our green spaces and this money will go a long way to maintaining and developing attractive parks as places that people will want to come and visit, play and relax in.”

Matthew Bradbury, Deputy Chair for Natural Cambridgeshire (the Local Nature Partnership for Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, said: “Natural Cambridgeshire has ambitious plans for the creation of a world class environment across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.  Central to this is a clear strategy for managing green open space and land for nature.  The Future Parks funding is a huge step forward in helping us realise these plans and delivering benefits to local people. As a partnership, Natural Cambridgeshire brings together conservation charities, private sector developers, community groups and statutory agencies – we look forward to bringing this diverse experience and perspective to this important project.”

Hilary McGrady, the National Trust’s Director General, said: “Today is a landmark moment for the nation’s parks. We need to give parks a reboot and start thinking about them as essential elements of our communities in the same way we think about housing or transport. Future Parks is the beginning of something really exciting. What these eight projects achieve will help guide how other councils and communities can really make a difference to securing the future of their parks too.”

Ros Kerslake, The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s CEO, said: “Our parks and green spaces are essential to the health and well-being of the nation and yet in some areas they are facing a very insecure future. Future Parks isn’t simply patching-up a few problem parks. It is enabling local authorities and communities to take a longer-term, strategic approach to managing, funding and maintaining them, so future generations will be able to enjoy their many benefits in hundreds of years from now.”

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