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Government pledges 13m for green spaces and pocket parks

£13m will be made available for local authorities to improve their parks and green spaces, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire has announced.

£9.7m of the funding will be given to councils to better maintain and protect their recreational spaces.

An additional £2.75m will also be made available for the ‘pocket parks’ plus programme, following the initial £1m that was announced in December.

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.

A further £1.2m has been provided to the National Trust and The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Future Parks Accelerator initiative. The partnership 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.

Communities Secretary, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said: ‘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.

‘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.’

However, the funding was criticised by Cllr Chris Paul on Twitter who told New Start the £13m is ‘a pittance’ and ‘based on a beauty contest.’

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