Funding for green and blue public spaces has suffered in recent years, whilst our appreciation of the health and wellbeing benefits these spaces provide is on the up.
The SWEEP Investing in Nature for Health project has developed a new report highlighting the range of alternative sources of finance that could be used to support the development and maintenance of green infrastructure.
The Alternative funding mechanisms for green space report was produced in direct response to the needs of project partners and provides a concise summary of the breadth of funding mechanisms available for green infrastructure and the activities provided in these spaces.
It includes examples of some traditional, but mainly alternative, funding streams, and presents case studies that highlight their successful application. The report also raises wider questions about what we value as a society and how we might achieve more creative, cross-sectoral and sustainable models of funding, suitable for different stakeholder groups and applicable at scale.
As part of the programme of work on this timely topic, the team hosted a webinar (now available as a recording) to further discuss the issue. The session proved extremely popular, with registrations exceeding capacity within 48 hours. Thankfully, the team were able to extend their software license to accommodate all 190 registrations. Speakers Cathi Farrer, Foundation Manager, Bournemouth Parks Foundation; Nick Grayson, Green City Manager, Birmingham City Council; Dan Hird, Head of Corporate Finance, Triodos Bank and Ian Mell, Senior Lecturer, University of Manchester each shared their own experiences and insight.
The panel brought interesting and wide-ranging perspectives, from discussing the use of specific funding mechanisms such as establishing a parks foundation or private sector funding model, to considering the wider implications of governance and how it affects funding. Policy implications were raised in the Q&A which followed the session, with discussion of biodiversity net gain, as well as how organisations such as universities could collaborate with partners on green space funding bids.
This full recording of the webinar, along with the Q&A session is available on the SWEEP Health and Wellbeing Hub at: https://sweep.ac.uk/alternative-mechanisms-for-funding-green-space/
This was the ninth webinar in the series associated with SWEEP Investing in Nature for Health project. The series aims to open discussion and exchange knowledge across sectors, and might be of interest to anyone looking at the benefits of the environment to health and wellbeing. The webinars, and a host of other useful resources and tools, are available on the Investing in Nature for Health Hub. The hub is free and requires a quick registration.
The next webinar in the series, Beyond ramps and handrails: designing with and for the senses, will take place on 30th April. Please visit the Eventbrite registration page for more details, or to register.