The parks we care for have received a major investment in their future thanks to our fantastic partnership with the family charity LGA Foundation. They’ve teamed up with us as part of long-term plans to develop the city’s green spaces so that they are among the best in the country.
Our partnership so far
LGA Foundation is a family charitable trust established by Sue and John Reece MBE, and is named after their three children Lauren, Greg and Ali, who are closely involved in its work to support organisations in the North East that strive to improve health and well-being.
Our partnership with them has already seen funds of over £40k channelled into key projects such as the creation of our popular Urban Green Cafés and the refurbishment of Springbank Pavilion in Leazes Park. Their support has also enabled us to bring the water playpark in Exhibition Park back to life through the combined efforts of park staff, LGA Foundation and the help of engineers at Grundfos and PRESMAC.
Both of these features were commented on by the judges of the Green Flag Awards who recognised the park for a third consecutive year last week, demonstrating the importance of partnerships like these in improving the city’s green spaces. Going forwards, we look forward to continuing to work with the LGA Foundation and there are already exciting plans in the pipeline for future improvement projects.
Sue Reece, chair of LGA Foundation, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic really emphasised the importance of local green spaces and getting out into our parks has been invaluable to so many for their health and well-being.
“We are pleased to be supporting Urban Green Newcastle in their work to enhance and maintain our outdoor spaces so that as many people can access and enjoy them as possible.”
The Foundation has also funded equipment for our Urban Green Clean volunteers who work hard to clean up the city’s 33 parks.
Honouring Dr Alan Reece
The family has also celebrated the partnership by choosing a spot by Wylam Brewery in Exhibition Park as the site for a memorial bench to John’s father. The late Dr Alan Reece is one of the North East’s most renowned engineering entrepreneurs and philanthropists.
John, who founded the Reece Group with his father and was awarded an MBE for services to engineering, manufacturing and innovation, added; “As well as being an inspiring lecturer and engineer, my father was also passionate about the outdoors.
“He lived the last 30 years of his life in Wylam, which makes Exhibition Park the perfect place to site the bench dedicated in his memory: in front of the Wylam Brewery looking towards Newcastle University where he was a student and lecturer.
“LGA Foundation is looking forward to working with Urban Green Newcastle as they continue to invest in the city’s parks, which are such an important asset to the people of Newcastle and there are exciting plans to come.”
The importance of the LGA Foundation partnership
Carol Pyrah, Chief Executive at Urban Green Newcastle, said; “The partnership with LGA Foundation is a great opportunity to invest in the quality and the facilities of the city’s parks.
“The memorial bench to Dr Alan Reece embodies the strong relationship that we have formed with LGA Foundation and we’re delighted to honour his memory in Exhibition Park.
“The city’s parks are more than just green oases. They are essential community infrastructure providing local people with space to play, eat, gather, and relax.
“Maintaining and improving the parks is a mammoth task. It is partnerships like this that can unlock new opportunities for improvement.”