Mayor launches community fund to help create his 100 ‘Pocket Parks’

20 June 2013

As part of the Mayor of London’s drive to create 100 ‘Pocket Parks’ across the capital, local community groups are being invited to come forward and apply for a community grant of up to £20,000.

The £450,000 community fund is part of a £2m investment from City Hall to bring 100 underused urban spaces back into use by March 2015. Normally the size of a tennis court these ‘Pocket Parks’ create small green retreats for the local community to enjoy, making the capital an even better place to live and work.

The first ‘Pocket Park’ opened in Stockwell last month, transforming a concrete area behind a bus stop into an edible oasis, with work already underway on a further 26 ‘Pocket Parks’.

Funding for these early projects was directed through London boroughs whereas this round of funding will be given directly to community groups working to improve their local neighbourhoods.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “The most important ingredient for any of my ‘Pocket Parks’ is the involvement of the local community to help shape, create, love and preserve it. Making the most of our small and forgotten spaces can have a massive impact on the quality of life in urban areas. They provide the neighbourhood with greenery, a place to meet, relax or grow food, and also make London an even better place to live, work and invest in.”

The scheme which is being delivered by Groundwork on behalf of the Mayor will build on the work of Groundwork’s Transform initiative which began as a key part of the London 2012 Changing Places programme and has already forged close links with local partners, most of them small community groups.

Anita Konrad, Director, Groundwork London said: “At Groundwork we are firmly committed to helping build communities and improving the environment. So we are delighted to be part of the Mayor’s ‘Pocket Park’ initiative to create 100 mini oases across the capital and look forward to receiving applications and working with local groups to transform a small corner of their local area into a vibrant and green community space.” 

Notes to editors

- The fund offers grants of between £5,000 and £20,000 to local community groups to create ‘Pocket Parks’. - The deadline for applications is 17:00 on 23rd July 2013. For details of how to apply, please download the Pocket Parks Application pack from http://london.groundwork.org.uk/what-we-do/major-initiatives/pocket-park... 

- Groundwork London is a social and environmental regeneration charity that creates and delivers programmes and projects aimed at:

o Improving people’s prospects – delivering support to increase the confidence, skills, well-being and employability of those furthest removed from the labour market, in particular young people;

o Promoting greener living and working – helping people and businesses learn more about their environmental impact and act responsibly to reduce natural resource use and improve their health;

o Creating better places – supporting people to work collectively to make their surroundings greener, safer and healthier and be actively involved in the way decisions are made about services in their area.

www.groundwork.org.uk/london o www.twitter.com/GroundworkLON owww.facebook.com/GroundworkLondon 

- In March the Mayor announced funding for the first 27 ‘pocket parks’ across 17 London boroughs following a borough led funding round. - Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley, Brent, Camden, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Islington, Lambeth,

- For more information please go to www.london.gov.uk/priorities/environment/greening-london/parks-green-spa... 

- Trees and plants provide a range of benefits including helping to improve local air quality and reduce flood risk, providing shade and offering a haven for wildlife.

- ‘Pocket parks’ are part of the Mayor’s London Great Outdoors programme to transform the public places we live in – high streets, town centres, parks, rivers and pathways – into vibrant, loved places within our city. Since the programme began in 2009, over £250m has been invested in over 78 projects, divided into two key areas – better green and water spaces and better streets. For further information please go to:www.london.gov.uk/greatoutdoors 

- Many of these projects involve community spirited volunteers. The Mayor’s Team London programme is seeking to build a volunteering legacy following the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by encouraging Londoners to do something great for their city.

To search for opportunities or to sign up to receive updates of new volunteering opportunities go to london.gov.uk/teamlondon/register-for-updates