Parks and green spaces are at the heart of UK life. They provide opportunities every day for people to relax, play, meet neighbours and experience the natural world. As the ‘green lungs’ of our growing cities they even help tackle the impacts of climate change. However, we all know public parks and green spaces are under threat. They must reduce their costs, find new ways of involving local people and new approaches to management if they are to remain free and open, and continue to provide these benefits. In short new approaches are needed!
Launched this week the Growing a Greener Britain crowdfunding initiative provides a new way of addressing some of these challenges. Crowdfunding is a way of paying for projects by raising money from ‘the crowd’ including local people, councils and businesses. The Growing a Greener Britain initiative helps local communities showcase small scale projects aimed at improving their local park or space and raise funds from others in their neighbourhood and elsewhere to turn their projects into reality!
Rob Pearce, Growing a Greener Britain Trustee said:-
“Austerity is having a huge impact on public parks and green spaces. In many areas local communities are righty nervous about the negative effect this will have on where they live and are ready to get involved. Growing a Greener Britain’s mission is to provide a new way for them to do so by enabling them to share their projects with their neighbours and raise funds from their communities to get things done. We’ll also provide some funds to projects to help them reach their target and tools and equipment to help people along.”
Growing a Greener Britain has partnered with Spacehive one of the UK’s largest Crowdfunding platforms and the only one focussed on supporting civic projects. £50k a year will be distributed to projects all over the country through the platform. But it’s the way it’s distributed that is important. The crowdfunding platform allows everyone, and every funding body, to join forces and contribute to help projects reach their target sum and make their project happen. This is key as it means local communities have to take ownership of their project and the annual £50k Growing a Greener Britain fund goes further. Our first round of pledges has already helped three great projects reach their target and start their project.
Niraj Dattani, Head of Community Development at Spacehive said:-
“We’re delighted to be working with Growing a Greener Britain on this initiative. Cuts to local authorities mean that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for our shared greenspaces to be properly sustained and for new greenspaces to be developed. By helping communities to crowdfund their own ideas we aim to not only keep these spaces open and flourishing, but also to inject more creativity and community involvement into them. We see it as an opportunity for local groups and individuals, as much as a solution for local authorities.”
Growing a Greener Britain crowdfunding is now open and can be found here:- https://www.spacehive.com/initiatives/ggb