Published by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE Space – now closed), 2006.
Paying for Parks investigates eight models for funding urban green spaces by setting out the main funding mechanisms for green spaces. The research, from PriceWaterhouseCoopers, CABE Space and Groundwork, gives good practice examples from the UK and abroad.
The report aims to give park and green space managers and regeneration professionals ideas how to raise parks’ maintenance funding in an environment of limited parks funding. The report also calls for a strategic rethink about how we resource parks, a valuable public asset.
- The report sets out the strengths and weaknesses of eight models for funding urban green space, and an example of each is provided;
- Traditional local authority funding
- Multi-agency public sector funding
- Taxation initiatives
- Planning and development opportunities
- Bonds and commercial finance
- Income-generating opportunities
- Voluntary and community sector involvement
- A one-size-fits-all approach will not work. The report recommends that no matter what approach or model taken, it is important to set up dedicated funding and management arrangements from the outset.
- Successful urban green space funding is often underpinned by a strategic approach to funding and management that incorporates a portfolio of different funding sources, mechanisms and partnerships.
- The success of funding models is inextricably linked to the physical, political and social context within which the green space is located, and the assets and resources available.
- Some models can be more readily applied to access finance in the short term. Other models require more long-term developmental work and radical thinking but could play an important role in funding green space in the future.
- Solutions should consider the range of barriers that could hinder the development of innovative funding models in England, which include:
- lack of awareness of the value of green space amongst key decision-makers and funders
- restrictions on the ability of local authorities to set and control local taxes and influence local business rates
- lack of financial management skills and capacity in many local authorities and the voluntary and community sector
- the vulnerability of funding for urban green space to cuts and competition from other services within local authorities
- low levels of corporate social responsibility and philanthropy in the English private sector
- the inability of many local authority parks departments to ring-fence funding
View and download the Paying for Parks report on the National Archives Webarchives