London Borough of Barnet: Alternative Parks Delivery Models, 2016

Shared Assets was commissioned by the London Borough of Barnet to review different options for the future strategic governance of its parks and open spaces. Barnet is an outer London Borough that is home to many high quality and well-loved parks, and aspires to be a leader in the provision of suburban parks. The council wanted residents to have a greater say in how parks are managed and developed in the future, and Shared Assets assisted to review the options for the ongoing management and governance of the parks service.

An aerial view of a large London park, with a central lake and housing surrounding every side.
Image: Barnet council, Parks and Open Spaces Strategy

We reviewed existing information and strategies, the political and budgetary constraints the council was operating under, and the aspirations for the overall parks portfolio. We proposed a number of potential options for retaining and enhancing the public benefit of the parks while enhancing income streams and economic impact. The final output of this work was a phased 10-year transition plan for the establishment of a charitable trust, with a clear decision making framework to enable the creation of a mixed economy model for the council to be able to adapt as new information and circumstances arose. 

Shared Assets designed an alternative delivery model that ensured the economic, societal and environmental benefits that the council needed would be fulfilled. The model focused on improvement and long-term sustainability, and provided the council with the framework that will ensure their Borough’s parks and open spaces will be welcoming to people of all ages, cultural, ethnic and social backgrounds who live, work, play in, and visit the Borough.

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