Please have your say on a public consultation being run by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) – to help make sure public parks and open spaces in Nottingham continue to receive vital HLF funding in the future.
HLF funding is increasingly giving parks and open spaces a crucial lifeline, with government cuts to local authority funding making it difficult for local councils to fund parks and open spaces – as underlined by a 2017 Communities and Local Government report into Public Parks:
“Public parks are at a tipping point and face a period of decline with potentially severe consequences unless their vital contribution to areas such as public health, community integration and climate change mitigation is recognised.”
As the organisation behind St Ann’s Allotments, we know the difference HLF funding can make. Over the last few years, HLF funding has enabled us to transform the allotments, which were left largely empty and neglected throughout the 1980s and 1990s, into a Grade 2* listed heritage site and a national Site of Importance for Nature Conservation.
Today, the allotments are home to a range of restored 19th century buildings, a Visitors’ Centre, Community Orchard, display and museum plots and a heritage plant nursery, as well as rare wildlife, including birds, moths, butterflies, damselflies and dragonflies.
It’s an incredibly important green space for local people and Nottingham as whole, giving people the chance to grow their own food, get active, take part in events and activities and help preserve local heritage and wildlife.
With local council budgets under severe pressure in many parts of the country, including Nottingham, external funding from organisations like the HLF is becoming more and more vital for the future of Nottingham’s parks and open spaces. Nottingham City Council has warned that funding for parks and open spaces in Nottingham is being ‘drastically squeezed’ with a statement on their website saying:
“Rising costs of adult social care and slashed Government funding have created a tipping point for Nottingham City Council as it aims to save another £27m for next year’s budget. The increasing demands for caring for the elderly, disabled and children means the budget for these services will rise significantly this year. But these services now make up 61% of the council’s entire budget – meaning the funding for other services like leisure, highways and parks is being drastically squeezed.”
Nottingham’s government funding has been cut by two thirds since 2013.
The HLF consultation on what their future priorities should be is a crucial opportunity to help safeguard HLF funding for the city’s parks and open spaces – so please take a few minutes to complete the survey.