Newcastle Parks Trust – Newcastle City Council
Posted on 19th May, 2019
“a measure of a city’s greatness is to be found in the quality of its public spaces, its parks and its squares”
From 1st April 2019 Newcastle became the first major city in the UK to hand over its parks and allotments to an independent charitable trust that will sustain our treasured parks for future generations.
Since the Victorian era, Newcastle’s parks have been much loved public spaces, providing residents and visitors with opportunities to escape, explore, rest, relax and play.
Our parks are the green lungs of the city, helping to keep us healthy, cleaning the air and nurturing local wildlife. They form part of Newcastle’s culture and history.
But, like many places across the country, the future of our parks and public spaces –have been threatened by austerity – the cuts imposed on Newcastle meant that funding for our parks had to be reduced by over 90%.
Newcastle Parks Trust, developed in partnership with the National Trust and communities across the city is a cooperative response to that austerity. As a charitable trust our Parks can access new funding from sources that would be off-limits to the council.
But, beyond the critical issue of funding, the Trust opens up our parks to a greater level of community participation and ownership, including:
- More community-based events;
- Community-led decision making;
- Opportunities for raising income – e.g. through residents to establish small businesses and cooperatives in parks.
Taking a cooperative approach to the future of our parks has shifted our ambition from maintaining what we have, to making our parks better and more vibrant places for everyone.
 John Ruskin