Urban Green Newcastle officially launched
Urban Green Newcastle pledges £2.5m to improve Newcastle’s parks and allotments
£2.5m will be spent improving Newcastle’s parks and allotments over the next five years by the new charity responsible for their management, development and protection.
Urban Green Newcastle (formally Newcastle Parks and Allotments Trust) announced the spending commitment at its official launch event, which took place in Exhibition Park, Newcastle; one of 33 parks and 61 allotments sites the organisation took control of in April 2019.
Established by Newcastle City Council with support from National Trust and National Lottery Heritage Fund, Urban Green Newcastle is part of an innovative, pioneering movement to secure the future of parks, allotments and green spaces.
James Cross, Chief Executive of Urban Green Newcastle, said: “Since our formation in April this year we have committed to spend half a million pounds in 2019 as part of our capital works programme that will see significant improvements to our parks and allotments.
“We'll be installing new fencing and carrying out stonework repairs in Jesmond Dene, improving the footpaths in North Kenton Park, doing works to the embankment at Tyne Riverside and much more.
“Working in partnership with Newcastle City Council, we have begun work on improving playground areas in some of our parks, installing exciting new equipment for local communities to enjoy all year round.
“We’ve also addressed some of the issues that upset parks and allotments users the most by installing new smart bins to tackle the problem of littering and making sure grass is cut regularly so our green spaces remain clean, tidy and welcoming.”
As part of the event, Urban Green Newcastle launched its vision for Newcastle’s parks and allotments and reinforced its commitment to work in partnership with people across the city to co-create its future plans for parks, allotments and green spaces.
James continued: “We want to connect people to nature and improve the health and wellbeing of all families and communities in Newcastle by providing safe, well maintained parks and allotments that are open for everyone to enjoy.
“We want to enhance our open spaces and celebrate Newcastle as a vibrant, green city.”
Urban Green Newcastle also set out its plan for the next twelve months, which include the announcement of a year long events programme curated with support and input from local Friends of Groups. As well as an expanded Newcastle Garden and Allotments Fete in Leazes Park, there will also be a special programme celebrating the parks’ bandstands and exciting events in Exhibition Park including music festival, This is Tomorrow.
A new Community Representation Group will be formed to assist Urban Green Newcastle and its Trustees in advising on key policies and procedures.
There will also be regular ‘meet the team’ surgeries and drop in sessions so members of the public can collaborate with Urban Green Newcastle and pursue their own ideas about what should happen in Newcastle’s parks and allotments.
A campaign to see Newcastle named a National Park City was also launched at the event.
London was crowned the world’s first National Park City in July 2019 following a six year campaign that saw its residents and businesses commit to make the capital a city where people, places and nature are better connected.
James Cross said: “Becoming a National Park City signals our commitment to make life better for people and nature in Newcastle.
“I want our city’s campaign to be a beacon that inspires communities across Newcastle and the wider region to value, cherish and celebrate our amazing parks, allotments and green spaces.
“And in doing so we feel happier, healthier and more fulfilled; that the places people care about are more vibrant and beautiful; and that people, nature and the local economy thrive.”