Joint statement from The Royal Parks and The Royal Parks Foundation
The Royal Parks and the charity The Royal Parks Foundation have agreed they should become a new single organisation to fundraise for and manage the capital's eight Royal Parks.
Both organisations plan to join within a new charitable public corporation. The proposal has already won the backing of the government and the Mayor of London. A detailed plan is now being worked up, and it is hoped the new organisation will be established next year.
A new charitable public corporation will have increased freedoms, with controls similar to a charity rather than a government department. This means the parks can be managed more efficiently while maintaining visitor satisfaction. Placing fundraising and managing the parks under one organisation will also attract stronger funding support.
Running the parks costs around £36 million a year, 65% of which is raised through sponsors, donors, events, catering, grants, lottery funding, licences, rental income from lodges, filming and photography. With over 77 million visitors a year (Ipsos MORI 2015) and decreasing government funding this means maintaining high standards and a public satisfaction rate of 98% (Ipsos MORI 2015) is challenging.
The Royal Parks
The Royal Parks is an Executive Agency of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The Board is appointed by the Mayor of London in conjunction with the Secretary of State. It manages and protects London's eight Royal Parks as well as other areas in the capital. The Royal Parks are: Bushy Park, The Green Park, Greenwich Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, The Regent's Park and Primrose Hill, Richmond Park and St James's Park. It also manages Victoria Tower Gardens, Brompton Cemetery, Grosvenor Square Gardens and the gardens of 10, 11 and 12 Downing Street.
The Royal Parks Foundation
The Royal Parks Foundation is the charity for London's eight Royal Parks. The Foundation helps protect and enhance the parks, raises funds for projects focused on heritage, education, wellbeing and nature, and increases understanding of the value of the Parks so that more people will wish to support and care for them.