Green Vision To Revitalise Borough's Parks

Heritage lottery funding to be sought for local historic parks and spaces

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The large mansion at Gunnersbury Park

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A plan setting out a vision of revitalisation and improvement for the borough’s parks and green spaces has been endorsed by Hounslow’s Executive this week.

The borough's 800 hectares of public green spaces make it one of London’s greenest and contributes to recreation and leisure opportunities and can add to economic generation, as well as being a source of Civic Pride.

The Hounslow Plan, the Council’s four-year vision of development and improvement for the borough, sets out a blueprint for parks and open spaces. After hearing a report outlining a number of ways of which this vision could be achieved, the Executive decided to;

• Seek to secure heritage lottery funding for the historic parks and spaces at Chiswick House, Gunnersbury Park and Boston Manor Park, and endorsed the intention to make a series of sequential bids for funding for Hounslow’s inter-war and post-war parks.

• Seek to secure other external funding and develop partnerships with local community organisations supporting the establishment of more “Friends of Parks” groups.

• Launch Phase 1 of an ambitious project to regenerate Jersey Gardens, in Osterley.

Cllr Adrian Lee, lead member for leisure, said, “Historically, the borough’s parks and open spaces have suffered from under-funding.

“This vision explores a number of different options and financial avenues open to the Council that could open up possibilities for regenerating our parks. We have a good track record of winning lottery money, and will work hard to secure funding from this stream, and others.”

The Hounslow Plan (2006-10) expresses the Council’s desire to expand opportunities for parks and green spaces in the borough because of their contribution to residents’ quality of life.
Increasing the support to Friends of Parks groups is seen as key to any success. There are currently 27 such groups, most of which have been formed in the last two years. Support for friends groups from CIP - the Council’s leisure provider - has enabled projects to be developed and delivered that meet community needs. Promoting these groups and providing further support is vital.

Cllr Lee added,“Friends’ groups play an important part in the welfare of local parks. As custodians and guardians of their local park, there is a genuine commitment from them to protect and improve them. We are keen to harness this energy, enthusiasm and effort and work with friends’ groups to meet a common goal.”

An extension to the rules on parks that can be considered for heritage lottery funding means Hounslow can bid for funding for some of its younger parks, and efforts will be made to harness funding from this source.

March 6, 2007