Edinburgh's Thriving Green Spaces project has been announced as one of eight urban areas to share in £11 million worth of funding to secure the future of the UK’s parks and greenspaces.

The new Future Parks fund is a pioneering programme designed to find sustainable ways to manage and fund parks and open spaces across entire towns and cities. The fund was launched today by the National Trust and National Heritage Lottery Fund, with support from the UK government.

Edinburgh was one of 81 councils and communities from across the UK to apply for the funding and is the only Scottish city to be successful, with an award of £899,500.

Alongside the City of Edinburgh Council, bid partners were: greenspace scotland, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust, University of Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Green Spaces Forum (the umbrella group for Edinburgh’s friends of parks groups).

The funding will be used to work collectively and collaboratively with numerous partner organisations, community groups and members of the public to develop an ambitious 30-year strategy for the city’s parks and greenspaces so that they continue to flourish well into the future.

Aligned with the Edinburgh 2050 City Vision, the aim of the strategy is to arrive at a new way of working to ensure parks and greenspaces’ ongoing enhancement, protection and care.

Other places which have been successful are: Birmingham, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Edinburgh, Islington and Camden, Nottingham and Plymouth.

City of Edinburgh Council Parks Leader Councillor Karen Doran said:

“Edinburgh is already a wonderfully green city and we want to ensure it remains that way for generations to come. Thanks to this much-sought-after funding we’ll be able to tackle this challenge directly with the public, together with our partners on the bid, to explore what it means to be a thriving green city.

“Our work will determine how we change and adapt the ways in which we manage our parks and greenspaces, to ensure that they continue to play an active role in delivering benefits in areas such as health and wellbeing, active travel, biodiversity, recreation and social cohesion.  We know our parks and greenspaces offer solutions for many of the environmental and social challenges we face today, and this funding offers the opportunity to ensure that these benefits are experienced by as many of our residents and visitors as possible for generations to come.

“Thriving Green Spaces promises to be an exciting, challenging and rewarding project for everyone who gets involved and we can’t wait to get cracking.”

Julie Procter, Chief Executive of greenspace scotland, said:

"Parks and greenspaces make a big difference to our quality of life, but across the UK parks are under pressure.

 "We're therefore delighted to work with the City of Edinburgh Council and partners on this innovative and ground-breaking project to develop an ambitious,  long-term, strategic approach to managing, resourcing and animating the city's greenspaces.

 "Through greenspace scotland's work with the Scottish Park Managers Forum and greenspace networks, the learning from Thriving Green Spaces will be shared widely with other Councils and communities to ensure Scotland's parks continue to thrive and benefit future generations."

Stuart Brooks, Head of Conservation and Policy at the National Trust for Scotland, said:

“Edinburgh has a wealth of cultural and natural heritage within its parks and greenspaces which benefit everyone. Future Parks will secure and expand these benefits through a partnership that shares a positive vision for places and people.”

“This is why we are so delighted to play our part in this far-sighted initiative and we commend Edinburgh’s foresight and ambition.  Re-thinking our parks and the role they play in our lives is vital to the sustainable future and liveability of cities.”

More about Edinburgh's Thriving Green Spaces project

More about Future Parks