LGA Foundation teams up with Urban Green Newcastle in drive to make city’s parks the “best in the country”

LGA Foundation has teamed up with Urban Green Newcastle as part of long-term plans to develop the city’s green spaces so that they are among the best in the country.

The partnership has already seen funds channelled into new café facilities and a revamped water play area in Exhibition Park, both of which were commented on by the judges of the Green Flag Award who recognised the park for a third consecutive year last week.

The Foundation has also funded equipment for the Urban Green Clean team of volunteers who work hard to clean up the city’s 33 parks.

Going forwards, there are exciting plans in the pipeline for future improvement projects.

Sue Reece, chair of LGA Foundation, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has really emphasised the importance of our local green spaces and getting out into our parks has been invaluable to so many for their health and well-being.

Families enjoying the newly refurbished water play area this summer

“We are pleased to be supporting Urban Green Newcastle in their work to enhance and maintain our outdoor spaces so that as many people can access and enjoy them as possible.”

The water playpark in Exhibition Park has been brought back to life following the combined efforts of park staff, LGA Foundation and the support of engineers at Grundfos and PRESMAC.



The family has also celebrated the partnership by choosing a spot by Wylam Brewery in Exhibition Park as the site for a memorial bench to John’s father, the late Dr Alan Reece, one of the North East’s most renowned engineering entrepreneurs and philanthropists.

John, who founded the Reece Group with his father and was awarded an MBE for services to engineering, manufacturing and innovation, added: “As well as being an inspiring lecturer and engineer, my father was also passionate about the outdoors.

John Reece taking a break on his father’s memorial bench at Exhibition Park

“He lived the last 30 years of his life in Wylam, which makes Exhibition Park the perfect place to site the bench dedicated in his memory: in front of the Wylam Brewery looking towards Newcastle University where he was a student and lecturer.

“LGA Foundation is looking forward to working with Urban Green Newcastle as they continue to invest in the city’s parks, which are such an important asset to the people of Newcastle and there are exciting plans to come.”

Founded in 2019, Urban Green Newcastle is an independent charity responsible for managing and improving the 33 parks that sit within Newcastle City Council’s boundaries, as well as over 60 allotment sites.

Carol Pyrah, Chief Executive at Urban Green Newcastle, said: “The partnership with LGA Foundation is a great opportunity to invest in the quality and the facilities of the city’s parks.

“The memorial bench to Dr Alan Reece embodies the strong relationship that we have formed with LGA Foundation and we’re delighted to honour his memory in Exhibition Park.

“The city’s parks are more than just green oases – they are essential community infrastructure providing local people with space to play, eat, gather, and relax.

“Maintaining and improving the parks is a mammoth task and it is partnerships like this that can unlock new opportunities for improvement.”

Community members of all ages volunteer to help keep our parks clean