Rethinking Parks

In 2018, the team behind Leeds Parks Fund received funding from Rethinking Parks to undertake a 2-year project to investigate the potential of charitable giving to parks.

Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund and Nesta, Rethinking Parks aims to develop promising and innovative new operating models for parks across the country. Leeds Parks Fund is one of eight projects chosen to trial ways of improving park sustainability.

The aim of the project is to make a positive difference to Leeds parks and their communities by inspiring individuals and businesses to make charitable donations to them through Leeds Parks Fund.

Research

The first phase of the project is research led by University of Leeds into what local people and businesses think about the idea of charitable giving to public parks. This involved surveying the views of over 1400 residents and almost 150 business leaders as well as investigating the views of a smaller group in more depth in interviews and focus groups.  They were asked questions about the role and place of charitable giving to parks and what they thought of the concept of the Leeds Parks Fund. The research findings will be used to inform and shape the Fund’s work programme.

On 30 April 2019 a workshop attended by a wide range of park stakeholders discussed report findings and strategies for promoting charitable giving to parks.  A summary of the workshop can be found here

Read the final report Charitable Giving to Parks and Green Spaces here

Read the Summary Findings of Charitable Giving to Parks and Green Spaces here

Read the report press release ‘Who Should Pay for our Parks’ which calls for a national debate on the funding of the UK’s much loved parks and green spaces here 

 

Programme of Work

The grant from Rethinking Parks has enabled us to recruit a fundraising manager to devise and implement a fundraising strategy. Active fundraising has begun and a corporate supporter programme has been launched. Our first goal is to reach a target of £25,000 so we can launch our first grants funding round in 2019. Watch this space! We are also planning a Leeds Parks Fund roadshow at popular park events over the summer so we can raise awareness about the existence of the Fund and hear your views on why parks matter.

Further Information

To find out more about the Leeds project, or to get involved, email leedsparksfund@leeds.gov.uk