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Yvette Cooper has today announced the first grants to be made under ...
Yvette Cooper has today announced the first grants to be made under

the ODPM's Living Spaces programme, offering more than £1m to 64

community groups across the country.

Part of the government's Sustainable Communities plan, Living Spaces

is a three year £30m grant scheme aimed at helping local people

improve their environment. The scheme provides funds and

support to community groups across England wanting to create or

improve play areas, gardens, parks and other spaces near to where

they live.

Yvette Cooper, minister for regeneration, said: 'Local communities

know what needs to be done to improve their parks and green spaces.

These grants give people the chance to put their local ideas into


'People want to feel proud of the place where they live. But if there

is nowhere for children to play, pensioners to stroll, or families to

enjoy, then the quality of life for the whole community is


'I look forward to announcing the next round of successful projects

in the New Year.'

Bell Green People's Park in Coventry is one of the first successful

projects, with local people receiving £25,000 to transform an

underused space into a community garden for all ages. The award will

enable them to create new seating, improve pathways and build a

raised sensory area so elderly residents can take an active role in

creating the new garden. A kickabout area will also be built for

younger residents to enjoy.

Topping Fold and Fairfield Tenants and Residents Association in Bury

are also benefiting from a Living Spaces award of £25,000. The group

will be using their grant to improve an overgrown plot of land and

create a herb garden with disabled access. The funding will also

allow them to install a new barbeque, a quiet seating area and a

children's play area with wild grass meadow.

As well as providing grants from £1,000 to £100,000, Living Spaces

a lso helps local groups by providing practical support and expert

advice on how to deliver projects successfully. A network of trained

Living Spaces advisors is on hand to help groups think through their

ideas and develop detailed budgets and action plans. They can also

put groups in touch with other local organisations who can help to

ensure the projects are a success.

Living Spaces grants are available to existing neighbourhood groups

anywhere in England. For further information go to


39 of the 64 community groups offered grants under the Living Spaces

scheme have replied to confirm their acceptance. These are listed


A full breakdown of the 64 will be available on the Living Spaces

website once each community group has responded.

Living Spaces is funded by the ODPM. It is managed by Groundwork with

support from GreenSpace and is run in association with The Civic

Trust, The Experience Corps, The Federation of City Farms and

Community Gardens and The Wildlife Trusts.

Living Spaces is a £30m scheme and forms part of the deputy prime

minister's Sustainable Communities plan - where £201m was given

to liveability.

The scheme is open to existing neighbourhood groups and will provide

grants between £1,000 and £100,000 to support activities including:

- Improving small local parks

- Creating or improving 'pocket parks' and community gardens

- Creating or improving play areas or seating areas

- Cleaning up neglected land in residential areas

- Restoring village greens

- Carrying out small planting schemes on verges or on estates

- Creating or improving nature areas or city farms

- Restoring ponds, pathways, gateways or boundaries

Out of the 64 projects awarded grants:

23 are for public play areas;

11 are for nature areas/walks;

7 are for parks inc. kick-about areas;

17 are for community gardens;

6 are for village greens/streetscapes.

A table of Living Spaces grants officially accepted so far is available here.

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