Today, the Heritage Lottery Fund has published State of UK Public Parks 2016, its secondreport to comprehensively review the condition and management of the UK’s public parks. An investment of over £75m of National Lottery money has played a vital role in ensuring public parks across the West Midlands are in better condition, with improved facilities and renovated historic features. However, with park managers across the region reporting an expectation of further budget cuts, this investment could be lost as the risk of decline and potential facility closures continues to grow.  

The report also outlines the continuing need to develop innovative mixed model approaches to funding parks, such as local authority commitment, commercial opportunities and fundraising, to avoid the risk of rapid decline.

Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF West Midlands, said:  “Thousands of people across the West Midlands visit their local public park daily.  They are highly valued for the physical and emotional benefits they provide. And thanks to National Lottery players parks across the region have never been in such great shape. But these are financially challenging times and if we are to successfully halt the on-set of decline and avoid wasting this investment, we need to come together now to find innovative and sustainable models of funding and maintaining these highly valued community spaces.”