New strategy puts parks at the heart of North Lincolnshire communities

Neil Poole
Neil Poole

North Lincolnshire Council has created a Parks Strategy that sets out the vision and development plans for parks across the area from 2017 to 2026.

North Lincolnshire’s parks come in all shapes and sizes from the Green Flag award-winning Kingsway Gardens, Scunthorpe’s highly used Central Park to smaller local neighbourhood parks. There are also many parks that are looked after by town and parish councils.

The North Lincolnshire Parks Strategy will set out the council’s aims, objectives and goals for parks across North Lincolnshire. It will help direct the work of Highways and Neighbourhood Services that maintains them.

The vision states that parks should be ‘areas of high quality, accessible, and welcoming open spaces that are safe, well used and valued by the local community’.

Nationally more people are using parks and supporting them through initiatives such as friends groups. These groups allow community engagement, a strategic overview and also attract internal investment.

Friends groups will play a major role in the Parks Strategy.

North Lincolnshire’s most recent parks friends group was established in January 2016 in support of Baysgarth Park in Barton. They are in the process of creating a five year plan to develop the park and bidding for funds to enhance the park in future years.

The council’s role in supporting friends groups is to provide advice and guidance until they are ready to proceed on their own. The council has a role in tailoring its own maintenance and investment programs for each park to match friends group’s plans.

A study was carried out to set-up the Parks Strategy which included identifying local needs and looking at the different types of open spaces and parks in North Lincolnshire. From this, standards were set for the future of the strategy focusing on quantity, quality and accessibility.

The Parks Strategy will be informed and refined by consultation, on-going research and data collection and analysis.

Councillor Neil Poole, cabinet member for environment, said: “The North Lincolnshire Parks Strategy recognises that our parks are a key asset to the area. Parks are regularly used by children and families to play together, by people to exercise or as a place to meet friends. They are the heart of a thriving, sustainable and attractive area.

“By developing a strategy it helps us set out the investment for the parks and green spaces in North Lincolnshire and how they can be developed in the future. This includes establishing friends groups for local communities to create their own plans for parks and identifying funding. It is hoped the success of creating friends groups, such as Baysgarth Park’s, can be replicated across the area and form a key part of the Parks Strategy.

“Parks contribute to vibrant neighbourhoods and help put North Lincolnshire on the map as a great place to live, work, visit and invest.”