During Love Parks Week (29 July–5 August), the UK government announced a £9m Levelling Up parks scheme with the aim of creating new or significantly refurbished green spaces in those urban areas that need them most. In England, the cash will be given to councils to create or significantly revamp existing parks in 85 neighbourhoods most deprived of outdoor space. Areas set to benefit include Liverpool, Birmingham, Carlisle and 16 London boroughs.

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.

Up to £85,000 is available for pre-selected local authorities in England, where there are neighbourhoods with the least access to green space, and which rate highly on the Index of Multiple Deprivation. Scheme goals are to improve:

  • Access to quality green space in deprived urban areas
  • Tree-planting in urban areas
  • Pride in our local places

The selected local authorities are not being asked to follow a competitive bidding process but to opt in or out of the scheme. If a council opts out, the next eligible place ranked using the methodology will be offered a grant. This will ensure that all the money reaches areas where it is most needed and will have the biggest likely impact.

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.