Pocket Park funding announced

The Mayor of London has announced funding on the first of 100 ‘pocket parks’ – looking to transform underused urban spaces into “mini oases”.

Thanks to £2m of funding from the Mayor ‘pocket parks’, which are around the size of a tennis court, are set to reinvent some of London’s forgotten nooks and crannies.

In Barnet, thanks to £40,000 from the Mayor, Cricklewood Play Area will be transformed, with new trees, shrubs, seats and paths, into a place for locals to relax and enjoy a pleasant break from the surrounding built up area.

It will feature a new children’s play area, picnic tables, and an area for communal growing and planting.

Councillor Dean Cohen, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “I’m hopeful the funding will give the park back some character and charm as well as provide a welcome breathing space from the hustle and bustle of the high street.”

The park will receive match funding from Barnet Council towards a bigger project to help improve the area for people of all ages to use.

Enfield Council has been awarded £85,000 to improve two open spaces – Albany Park in Hertford Road, Edmonton, and Angel Gardens, Rays Road, Edmonton Green.

The improvement works to Albany Park will see access to the park improved and an area, linked to the Albany Park Leisure Centre, will also be created for informal sports games and play. The Council hopes the new Pocket Park will help to open up the high street, kick start the regeneration of the area and encourage more people to use Albany Park, thereby discouraging crime and anti-social behaviour.

The existing site of Angel Gardens is currently derelict and stands between the Montagu Road industrial estate and residential housing in Rays Road and Rays Avenue. The new park will feature a community garden, pedestrian links to Angel Road Station, an outdoor gym and facilities for young people. The park will enable the development of the Angel Road transport hub, a key feature within the Meridian Water Masterplan.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Business and Regeneration, Cllr Del Goddard, said: “The creation of these Pocket Parks will help to drive the regeneration of these area, instil a sense of pride in the community and help provide high quality open spaces for people to enjoy.”

In Haringey, Stanley Road pocket park, which is in poor condition, will get £20,000 to help finance improvements, which will be run by the charity Groundwork London, with help from Friends of St John Vianney School and the local community.

Cllr Nilgun Canver, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said:  “This will be a real community effort with our partners, Groundwork, leading the project on behalf of the council. The plans for this garden are quite breathtaking and I look forward to coming here and enjoying the space in the future.”

Further funding for the improvements has previously been secured by Groundwork from the Britvic Transform your Patch programme and the London Tree and Woodland Grant Scheme and from Haringey Council’s Making a Difference programme.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson, said: “London is already an incredible place to live, but by making the most of our small forgotten outdoor spaces and providing trees, greenery and meeting places the fantastic quality of life here can still be improved upon. Through these mini transformations we can make London an even better place to live in, to work in and to invest in.”

All 100 ‘pocket parks’ are due to be delivered by March 2015. A further funding round for community based projects will open in May.

Other pocket parks among the 27 funded in the £834,500 first round are in Hackney, Haringey, Islington, and Redbridge.

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