Leeds parks could ‘come to life’ in coming years as new fund announced

Leeds looks set to get involved in a government scheme aimed at revamping 100 green spaces across the UK.

By Richard Beecham
Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 12:05 pm

The £9m Levelling Up Parks Fund will, according to Government, create new and improved parks in urban areas, “helping communities to come together and enjoy the outdoors”.

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Leeds City Council has today confirmed it is “aware” of the funding and could soon be in line for cash to improve the city’s green spaces.

Could the funding lead to more people enjoy Leeds' parks in the future?

In England, the cash will be given to councils to create or significantly revamp existing parks in 85 neighbourhoods most deprived of outdoor space. As well as Leeds, areas set to benefit include Liverpool, Birmingham, Carlisle and 16 London boroughs.

Following the announcement, a Leeds City Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of the levelling up parks fund and are currently exploring our options to claim our allocated funding.”

Secretary of State for Levelling Up Greg Clark MP said: “Parks and green spaces are at the heart of our communities, providing sanctuary from the bustling streets of our towns and cities and spaces for people to relax and come together.

“Over the past few years, the importance of spending time with loved ones and getting outdoors has become even more apparent, and this latest government funding will help people living in urban areas do just that.

“I look forward to seeing the new parks come to life and making a real difference to people’s daily lives for years to come.”

In a further boost to make the UK a greener place to live, £2 million of the total investment will support tree planting on the park sites, helping to combat CO2 emissions and make the air cleaner for people and wildlife. It also supports the government’s commitment to treble tree planting rates over the course of this Parliament.

Instead of a competitive bidding process, the fund allocates grants to places that the government has identified as most in need of quality green space, supported by data from Natural England’s Green Infrastructure Framework mapping.

The UK Government has allocated over £1 million from the fund to the devolved administrations and we continue to work closely with them to consider how we can best use the funding to support green spaces in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.