Community organisations are set to receive over £34,000 to improve the environment and facilities in Finsbury Park thanks to a special fund set up by Haringey Council to redistribute income from summer events.
The funding will be split between 5 organisations, enabling a wide range of exciting projects in the park, including:
- A 3-day immersive summer festival organised by Furtherfield to celebrate the biodiversity of the park.
- An additional cycling instructor for Pedal Power to deliver inclusive cycling sessions for teenagers and adults with learning disabilities.
- Educational outreach work by Edible Landscapes, whose forest garden in the park will also benefit from new solar heating panels.
- Works to improve biodiversity and volunteering at the Finsbury Park Sports Partnership.
- Repairs and improvements to the electronic timing equipment held at the Finsbury Park Track operated by the resident athletics club, London Heathside.
The cash comes from a special funding pot which is paid into each year by organisers of large events in the park through the Environmental Impact Fees charged on each event.
In line with Haringey Council’s Outdoor Events Policy, this money is kept separate from other events income and is used to address immediate funding priorities identified by the Friends group of the park in which the money was generated.
The fund has seen over £171,000 invested in community projects in Finsbury Park over the last 5 years – a figure which would be even higher if not for the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which severely limited the scope of summer events in the park in 2020 and 2021.
Cllr Mike Hakata, Deputy Leader of Haringey Council, said:
“I’m delighted that we’re able to make this significant investment in community groups thanks to our income from major events. This is the largest Environmental Impact Fee award that we’ve been able to make since 2020, which highlights an important benefit our summer events programme brings to Finsbury Park and the surrounding area.
“In Haringey we know just how important our parks and green spaces are for residents, and we’re committed to working together with the whole community to improve these spaces for everyone. This funding is an important part of our work to make sure that Finsbury Park remains one of the best and most popular parks in London.”
Bethany Anderson, Project Manager at Edible Landscapes London, said:
“Receiving funding from Haringey Council means Edible Landscapes London can pay for a Horticultural Therapist to work with adults with special educational needs from John Dewey College every Tuesday. We can host local schools for outdoor learning at an affordable rate for state schools, run a very affordable after school club where children will learn about nature and how to protect it while planting and transforming the space inside and around the garden and also so we can have a Forest Garden consultant to work with our volunteers so they learn through practical doing and helping improve the biodiversity of our garden and park around our garden.”
Charlotte Frost, Co-Director of Furtherfield, said:
“The Environmental Impact Fee award gives us the chance to have huge impact, at a crucial time, on how human users of the park relate to other life-forms in Finsbury Park – an essential biodiverse urban green space.”
Jerry Odlin, Chair of London Heathside, said:
“This will enable the club to offer an up to date timing system for athletic meetings held at the track including those hosted by London Heathside and other local clubs but also for the local schools community who regularly use the track for athletic meetings, such as school championships or more importantly as local qualifying events for area and national level athletic meetings.”
Jo Roach, Founder and coordinator of Pedal Power, said:
“Pedal Power is a Cycling Club for people of all ages with learning disabilities from moderate to profound and complex needs, their families and carers. We cycle for fun fitness and friendship; sessions happen come rain or shine on the Finsbury Park Athletics track. Pedal Power will use this grant as a contribution to running costs.”
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