Future of our parks and open spaces

Open Spaces Strategy now available

Between August and October 2016, more than 3,500 people took the opportunity to have their say on the future of the city’s parks and open spaces – the council’s biggest ever response to this type of consultation.

The survey encouraged people to share views on what is important to them, and included ideas that other councils are using to manage and maintain their open spaces.

We used feedback from the consultation to draw up a new Open Spaces Strategy. The new 10-year strategy (2017-2027) will shape the future of parks and open spaces in the city.

The strategy, which was formally approved by members of the Environment Transport and Sustainability Committee on 17 January 2017, proposed a range of policies and actions to put parks on a firm footing in order to maintain facilities for the future. The strategy highlights funding opportunities and the need to build on ideas that came out of the consultation.

We will continue to involve residents, park users and other interested parties as the strategy develops. The Environment Committee will consider any future updates.

Read our draft open spaces strategy.

Our parks and open spaces

Brighton & Hove has approximately 147 parks including heritage parks, playing fields and green spaces. We also have more than 3,000 allotments, 50 playgrounds and a section of the South Downs National Park.

We have around 3,200 acres of open space across the city. Most of these public spaces are managed by our Cityparks team and supported by volunteers and friends of parks groups.

Read the video transcript (PDF 165KB)

Parks and open spaces are important and promote physical and mental wellbeing.

Our open spaces:

  • are used by schools, colleges, universities and community organisations
  • support tourism and our economy
  • form a key part of our historic and current cultural identity
  • provide spaces for community events and large festivals
  • form part of the wider Brighton and Lewes Downs UNESCO World Biosphere Region (now called 'The Living Coast')

Why we need to rethink how our open spaces are managed

Public services are changing. Central government is continuing to reduce our funding. We have to make further estimated savings of £68m by 2019/20.

Cityparks' budget was £4m in 2015 to 2016. This means the city's parks cost each resident of the city £14 per year. In the council’s four year budget plan, Cityparks' budget is due to be cut by £600,000 to £3.4m between now and 2020.

Although these are challenging times, we have an opportunity to work together to shape the future of our parks and open spaces.