Agencies back new wave of regional parks

Rachael Tinniswood

The public sector has reaffirmed its support on new regional parks as they pledge to create eight new parks in the North West.

The North West Development Agency, North West Regional Assembly and Natural England have signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining a plan for the delivery of each park.

Eight regional parks are currently under development in:

  • East Lancashire
  • Weaver Valley
  • Ribble Estuary
  • North West Coastal Trail
  • Wigan Greenheart
  • Croal Irwell
  • Morecambe Bay
  • West Cumbria

There has been a focus on the development of regional parks since 1999, when the NWDA's Regional Economic Strategy identified their growth as key to improved regeneration.

The first park to be completed was in 2002, when the Mersey Waterfront regional park came into operation.

This new agreement ensures that:

  • A charter, promoting high standards along with sustained investment and governance, is agreed with the lead body for each Regional Park identified in the Regional Economic Strategy.
  • A Regional Parks Xchange, the first in the country, will be formulated to share good practice methods across the parks.
  • A strategic framework will be prepared to provide delivery of each park.

Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive of the NWDA, said: "With the signing of this agreement we are making a commitment to the creation and promotion of these regional parks for the benefit of future generations and the economic vitality of the region."

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