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NATURE GROUPS RESCUE PUBLIC PARKS FUNDING FROM NEAR EXTINCTION

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Lottery funding for public parks may have quietly dried up but for the vociferous protest made by the Civic Trust, ...
Lottery funding for public parks may have quietly dried up but for the vociferous protest made by the Civic Trust, the Garden History Society and the Urban Parks Forum, reports The Guardian (Society, p4).

The groups lobbied the government after discovering the Heritage Lottery Fund's budget for the Urban Parks Programme was to shrink from£30m in 1998/99 to just£11m in 2001. Stuart Harding, director of the programme, says spending could now top£100m.

Local authorities have no statutory obligation to fund the many municipal parks introduced to towns and cities during the Victorian era.

Mike Gwilliam, director of the Civic Trust, said: 'Alternative sources of funding for townscape and urban parks programmes ssimply do not exist and are unlikely to be provided if the HLF does not support them.'
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