Following the introduction of Sheffield City Council’s Building Better Parks initiative last year, the authority is calling for creative and enterprising ideas to help deliver its vision for better parks, woodlands and green spaces across the city.
Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure, Councillor Mary Lea explained at the time, how through the initiative the council plans to improve facilities across green spaces in Sheffield, whilst generating essential income that will help to ensure they thrive for future generations.
Some of Sheffield’s parks, such as Endcliffe and Millhouses, are extremely popular leisure destinations and already have brilliant facilities for visitors, but many, while offering beautiful surroundings and quality play equipment, are lacking in other amenities.
Now the council is inviting creative, civic-minded entrepreneurs and businesses to share their ideas and explore potential options that will enhance visitors enjoyment of parks, woodlands and green spaces while preserving what makes them so special.
A range of ideas will be considered including everything from catering, health and well-being and leisure activities to one-off events and seasonal hospitality.
Councillor Lea said: “We’ve been extremely clear that this is not about selling any land and that we will remain in control of any agreements made for businesses operating in our parks and I want to reiterate that commitment, to reassure everyone that this is as much about protecting our parks and woodlands as it is about improving them.
“This could be the biggest investment in our parks in decades. We have a real opportunity to make the most of our many beautiful green spaces, generate important income and help local businesses thrive. It’s a win-win situation that benefits everyone.
“Any initiative that adds social and economic benefit, whilst delivering a better service for Sheffield’s parks and green spaces, will be considered. We want to harness some of the creative, entrepreneurial talent that Sheffield is famous for, so if you have an idea, no matter how big or small, please get in touch.”
A robust assessment criteria and checklist has been agreed for any proposals put forward and this way, the council will retain ownership of its green assets. As each site and proposal will be unique in its offer the council’s approach will be flexible and apply common sense, alongside consultation with local stakeholders, within the agreed assessment process whilst delivering the best outcome for the site and the people of Sheffield.