Frequently Asked Questions:
Redcar & Cleveland Parks Foundation is a charity set up to work in partnership with Redcar & Cleveland Council, with the aim of enhancing eight of the parks and green spaces in the borough.
The Foundation was formed in 2019, officially starting to work with the Council on the management of the parks from April 2020, helping to increase visitors, encourage community support and attract additional funding that would not be accessible in a council-managed structure.
The Foundation has been made possible following a successful bid for a grant from the Rethinking Parks programme, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, and Nesta, which is an innovation charity with a mission to help people and organisations bring great ideas to life.
Fifty UK local authorities bid for funding under the Rethinking Parks initiative, and Redcar & Cleveland was one of only eight to receive a financial award. The Council will continue to own the parks and will carry on funding their maintenance, but the Foundation will oversee events and future developments, including all commercial activity, such as cafes and shops.
The Foundation will look after:
- Locke Park
- Zetland Park
- Borough Park
- Guisborough Forest & Walkway
- King George V Playing Fields
- Flatts Lane Country Park
- Eston Recreation Ground
- Marshall Drive Playing Fields
Yes, and its registered charity number is 1185850.
Five founding trustees have been appointed to the Foundation: Lauren Bywater, Steve Kielty, James Beighton, Brian Waugh and Jeremy Garside, with Lauren appointed Chairperson and Steve as Vice Chair.
Yes, the Foundation will be taking on additional trustees throughout the project to expand the variety of skills and knowledge available to the project.
People interested in becoming trustees should email email@example.com for more information, giving a brief outline of why they wish to be involved, along with a summary or CV of their skills and interests.
Parks Alive is a not-for-profit initiative launched by Redcar & Cleveland Parks Foundation, with the aim of encouraging the community to get involved in the local parks.
The Parks Alive campaign is designed to breathe new life into the parks, enhancing activities, helping to encourage more visitors and attracting additional investment through grants and fundraising.
People can get involved by volunteering, offering goods and services, fundraising, or suggesting ideas to improve the parks and enhance activities. For more information, to share ideas, or to take the Parks Alive survey, go to www.parksalive.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To put our parks and green spaces across Redcar and Cleveland at the heart of our local communities. They will be places everyone can visit, enjoy and care for in a safe and welcoming environment.
To lead on the successful management and promotion of our parks and green spaces across Redcar and Cleveland.
We will work in partnership to create greater community and business engagement and encourage a sense of ownership, attract increased visitors and secure additional funding to achieve our vision.
To look after our parks across Redcar and Cleveland to a high quality so they are attractive and enjoyable green spaces that people can visit.
To develop our parks as places where people can be active and enjoy learning about nature, archaeology, local history and culture.
To work in partnership with local communities so our parks are places where everyone from across Redcar and Cleveland, and visitors to the area, enjoy them and have fun.
- Community focused
Yes, the Foundation is established as an independent Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) and has a board of trustees who will make decisions. However, the Foundation will benefit from having a trustee with the knowledge and experience of a Council Member or Officer, who will bring a perspective of the Council to discussions. Once appointed as a trustee, they would have a legal duty to act in the best interests of the Foundation and will not be acting on behalf of the Council when attending meetings or dealing with Foundation business.
While the Foundation will be independent, it is proud to be working in partnership with Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council.
Yes. The Council will continue to own the parks and open spaces and any existing protections or covenants will remain in place, for example King George V Playing Fields are protected by the Fields in Trust organisation.
The Foundation will be regulated by The Charities Commission and will report to Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council.
A Foundation Board, which will include all trustees, will meet regularly. A member of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council will also attend those meetings.
No. Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council will continue to employ you and your contract will not alter due to the partnership with Redcar & Cleveland Parks Foundation.
No. As a part of the Rethinking Parks application, Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council has agreed to continue to commit their current maintenance budget for the foreseeable future.
All other parks not included in the Foundation will continue to be managed and maintained by Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council.
However, if the trustees feel able to offer support to a wider number of parks and open spaces in the future, it would be possible for other sites to become part of the Foundation.
Yes. User groups, such as ‘Friends of’ groups and Park Runs can continue to raise money and hold fundraising events. Instead of liaising with and seeking permissions from Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, all events now need to be sanctioned by the Foundation to ensure they meet health and safety regulations.
All fundraising projects must be agreed by the Foundation to ensure they are aligned with the overall vision for each park moving forward.
Where general funds have been raised by Parks Alive for the eight parks and green spaces, the Foundation will decide how the money is to be distributed.
The Foundation will ensure that no park is favoured over another and that funding is distributed fairly and in accordance with our investment plans.
Money raised by park-specific groups, such as ‘Friends groups’, will be used for the park it was intended for.
The Foundation will not interfere in any fundraising activities of ‘Friends of’ groups – they will be able to continue raising and spending funds as they always have. However, this is an opportunity for groups to work in partnership with the Foundation, to maximise fundraising opportunities.
The Foundation aims to support community and ‘Friends of’ groups and to work in partnership with them to help them improve visitor numbers, enhance activities and facilities, and raise additional funds.
The Foundation will decide how the funding is to be allocated and distributed.
The Foundation will be community-led in its decision-making and will take account of views expressed by members of the public in relation to where investment should be made and what facilities and activities should be available in each park.
The Foundation will communicate regularly with members of the public about how funding is being distributed, through newsletters, website updates and the media, in its desire to be as open and transparent as possible.
In some instances, how funding is distributed will depend on how much money has been secured and from where. For example, some bids for funding may be for specific parks and may not include all eight of them, and some bids may be for specific projects. The criteria could be different for each bid.
Initially, Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council will continue to insure the parks and open spaces, just as they do now. However, the Foundation will be sourcing its own insurance for activities and events, as required, throughout the project.
The Foundation’s official documentation, including CIO document, can be viewed here on our website
Residents and businesses can volunteer, offer services and goods to the parks, raise funds or share their ideas on how the parks and green spaces can be improved.