People and communities Parks improvements funding 2021

Themes for investment

This funding stream has now closed.

Parks in Partnership

Applications for the Parks In Partnership funding must show how they support at least one of our four themes:

  • Parks at the heart of neighbourhoods
  • Vibrant parks, vibrant communities
  • A Manchester quality standard
  • Productive partnerships in parks

Parks Development Programme

Applications for the Parks Development Programme (over £30,000) will need to demonstrate how they meet all four of these, as well as how they support the city’s zero carbon strategy. The key themes for this higher level of funding are those that form the main focus of our ten-year strategy for Manchester’s Parks 2017-27. They are: 

Parks at the heart of Neighbourhoods 

What there is and where it is, ensuring every community is provided for. The best spaces provide local natural habitats while also providing the recreational needs of the neighbourhood. 

Vibrant Parks, Vibrant Communities 

What happens or will happen in our parks. Providing the space and opportunities for things to happen - some planned, some unplanned - as a key part of everyday life. They provide opportunities for creativity, learning and achievement and are spaces for people to get fit and feel healthy. 

A Manchester Quality Standard 

Looking after our parks: constant care and attention is needed for our parks to continue being vibrant spaces at the heart of neighbourhoods. Management of parks will develop financially and environmentally sustainable solutions, which respect nature, park users and the residents who live nearby. 

Productive Partnerships in Parks 

The resources needed to make the vision a reality: thriving, vibrant and sustainable parks are based on productive relationships with stakeholders, partners, residents and visitors – the Our Manchester approach. The management of parks will be about creating realistic plans with stakeholders, testing new approaches to looking after parks, and making the best use of local contacts, skills and knowledge. Joint decisions will secure long-term viability and sustainability to benefit local communities and the environment. 

Other criteria

As well as meeting one or more of the four strategic themes, applications must: 

  • Support the delivery of the Park Strategy  
  • Demonstrate ability to deliver the project within the timescale and budgets set out  
  • Provide an opportunity to reduce expenditure, or increase income into the park 
  • Outline the track record of the applicant to deliver their commitments.   

Match funding to support investment is required for funding over £250,000. 

Elements of the Parks Strategy

Applications for Parks Development Programme funding will also need to demonstrate how they support the following elements of the Parks Strategy. Not every application can, or should, be able to fulfil all the criteria, but the strongest applications will be those that can support as many as possible. 

  • Fully accessible, welcoming and visually appealing with some truly world-class destinations, a great heritage, and horticultural and tourist attractions 
  • Good for physical and mental health: a natural health service where people can relax and feel safe, as well as a space for sport and culture, with the relevant infrastructure in place for this to happen
  • High-quality assets where people meet and the community flourishes, providing high visitor satisfaction and promoting Manchester as a place to live, work and visit.  
  • Valued highly by local people, organisations, visitors, and the people who work in them. Parks make a positive difference to people’s lives and are a source of pride for everyone
  • Net contributors to the city: reducing the effects of pollution; producing food and plants; as well as providing learning, skills, training and job opportunities
  • Supportive of the diverse range of wildlife: conserving natural habitats, improving air quality, mitigating climate change and flooding, and allowing people to engage with and learn about nature
  • Valued and understood through education, communication and effective partnerships where local people and organisations are involved in creating spaces where people can relax and feel safe  
  • Well managed, in partnership with internal Council departments and external partners working together to ensure sustainable operation – both financially (by closing the gap between income and expenditure) and environmentally. 

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