MyParkScotland set for development in Edinburgh and Glasgow

Read the press release, issued by greenspace Scotland, about a new parks project, developed in partnership with City of Edinburgh Council and Glasgow City Council.

greenspace scotland is delighted that our MyParkScotland project has been selected as one of 11 UK ‘park trailblazers’ announced today by the new Rethinking Parks programme. 

Funded by Nesta, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund, the £1 million Rethinking Parks programme is supporting the most innovative and promising new business models to enable our parks to thrive for the next century. 

Parks and greenspaces are really important as amazing local spaces on your doorstep for play, relaxation and exercise. They make a huge contribution to our health, our quality of life and our community spirit. And we really love them: last year Scots made over 160 million visits to local parks and greenspaces. Since 2004 they’ve topped the list of locations visited in the Scottish Recreation Survey – well ahead of woodland, beaches and hills. 

But the recent State of the UK’s Public Parks report from the Heritage Lottery Fund revealed a growing risk to our parks. Heritage Lottery Fund warned that unless future funding is generated in new ways, parks are at serious risk of rapid decline. 

Julie Procter, chief executive of greenspace scotland said: “Finding new and innovative ways to make the financing and management of parks and greenspaces sustainable is vital to ensuring their future. We need to make sure we maintain and keep our parks in good heart today and for the benefit of generations to come. MyParkScotland is our response to this challenge.” 

MyParkScotland is an exciting new project which will help people discover and support their local parks. The web-based platform combines elements of crowdfunding, for individual and business giving to support parks and parks projects, with an investment strategy to develop longer term sustainability and endowment funds. It will also be your first port of call if you’re looking to find your local park and what’s on through the interactive hub which provides information about park events, facilities and activities. 

greenspace scotland is initially developing MyParkScotland in partnership with the City of Edinburgh and Glasgow City Councils, Future Cities and the Edinburgh Friends Forum. Longer term, the intention is to extend it across Scotland and we’ve already had positive interest from a number of other areas. 

Cllr Alistair Watson, Executive Member for Land & Environmental Services, Glasgow City Council, said: “MyParkScotland will involve the people of Glasgow by giving them a real say in what parks and open space projects they would like to support. It puts the ethos of community planning and decision making at the very heart of the process by bringing local communities together. It’s an innovative way of ensuring the long term sustainability of Glasgow parks and promoting their use so they can be enjoyed for future generations.” 

Cllr Adam McVey, Vice Convenor of the Transport and Environment Committee, City of Edinburgh Council, said: “We have been developing ways to foster a greater sense of community ownership of parks for a number of years. MyParkEdinburgh will provide a responsive way for communities to identify park priorities, communicate these more widely, and raise resources to realise them.” 

MyParkScotland is one of 11 projects supported by the Rethinking Parks programme. Other projects include membership schemes, endowment models, new horticultural approaches and pop-up meeting spaces. The projects are spread across the UK with two each in the South West, North East and North West, three in London, one in Scotland and one in Yorkshire and the Humber. 

Lydia Ragoonanan, Rethinking Parks programme manager said: “Parks play a central role in communities throughout the UK, but we’re at real risk of losing these vital spaces. We hope these ideas might provide some solutions to the issues facing the sector and help sustain our precious parks long into the future.” 

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