Parks for People Evaluation
The Parks for People programme was funded by the BIG Lottery Fund (BIG) and administered by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). It offered grants of £250,000 to £5,000,000 for existing parks that local communities value as part of their heritage.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) took the decision to promote a self-evaluation approach for the Parks for People programme. Projects were expected to collect their own evaluation data and submit figures to HLF annually so that the data can be used on a periodic basis to produce reports, demonstrating the impacts of the programme.
Since 2008 CFP has worked with HLF evaluating this programme and supporting Parks for People projects in developing and implementing self-evaluation plans. We produce the evaluation framework and guidance for the programme and collate data returns from all projects.
We also support projects to collect monitoring data to show the progress against the Parks for People programme outcomes. This includes; running annual training and participatory workshops with projects, helping them to understand the benefits of self-evaluation and the methods they may wish to use to measure their success and providing support via email and over the telephone.
We collect annual monitoring returns from all 150 live projects who are in receipt of HLF/BIG Parks for People funding, apply a risk rating to each project and produce an annual evaluation report, demonstrating the impact to date of the programme.
Outcomes and Results
The programme has made a difference to the ways in which local authorities think about audience development, heritage management, engaging volunteers and skills development, as well as their approach to monitoring and reporting park usage.
Management and maintenance has improved as a result of the programme with many projects seeing increased involvement of local residents in volunteering activities.
In summary, evidence we have gathered since 2008 suggests that overall the Parks for People programme is on track to achieve its outcomes and exceed many of its targets.
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