2019 UK’s Best Park – Stanley Park Blackpool
Your votes have crowned Stanley Park in Blackpool, Lancashire as the UK’s Best Park 2019. The announcement was made as part of an exclusive premiere video on the Fields in Trust Facebook page which saw a sixteen week-long Summer of Parks draw to a conclusion.
The fourth edition of the award kicked off in May with nominations for the favourite local green spaces and share why they are so special. There was a record 364 nominations for local parks, recreation grounds, playing fields, country parks and green spaces received. All eligible nominations then progressed to a public vote with a 36,832 helping to decide the winner.
This year your votes also helped give “Much Loved” status to 73 parks and green spaces which placed within the top 20% of nominations. At close of voting Fields In Trust revealed the regional winners in England before naming the parks to top the vote in each of the Home Nations which made up the shortlist for tonight’s announcement.
Completing the shortlist were: Antrim Castle Gardens in County Antrim, the Northern Ireland winner; Cyfarthfa Park in Merthyr Tydfil, the Wales winner; and Pittencrieff Park in Dunfermline, the Scotland winner.
The Facebook Premiere revealing the winning park was watched by representatives of Blackpool Council and over 50 members of the Friends of Stanley Park in central Blackpool at a reception to celebrate the space having already won the England title.
Speaking after the announcement of the winner, Chair of the Friends of Stanley Park, Elaine Smith MBE, said: “It is a wonderful park, we know it’s the best park but now everyone else does too. All this is down to work done by the park staff, the gardeners, the concessionaires, by the Friends of Stanley Park, the volunteers, everyone has had to work together to do this. We can’t believe how thrilled we are”.
Parks Operational Manager for Blackpool Council, Diane Farley, added: “I am so pleased and so proud to be involved with everyone here at Stanley Park. It’s a fantastic job I have dealing with all the volunteers and all the hard working staff.”
Receiving an estimated two million visitors annually, Stanley Park was opened in 1926 and as well as an abundance of sporting facilities boasts a number of iconic features. Impressive Italian Gardens at its centre are flanked on one side by an Art Deco café and clock tower in memory of the first mayor of Blackpool, Dr William Cocker, and on the other by a bandstand with amphitheatre-style seating. A large boating lake frames these features.
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2017 Best UK Park – Stanley Park Blackpool
Blackpool’s Stanley Park, has been voted by the public as the UK’s Best Park at the prestigious annual Fields in Trust Awards 2017. Designed by celebrated landscape architect Thomas Mawson in the 1920s, the park which boasts an Italian marble fountain, boating lake, bandstand, Medici lions, Italian gardens and Art Deco styled café, has scooped the headline award at the annual Fields in Trust Awards 2017.
Now in their sixth year the Fields in Trust Awards showcases some of the UK’s best open spaces and shines a light on the efforts and achievements of the people whose tireless dedication ensures that these vital outdoor spaces can be enjoyed by the public.
For the third year running, the UK’s Best Park Award, as voted by YOU! celebrates the nation’s favourite park. This year the public nominated 360 parks in total from across the UK with over 15,000 votes cast. Stanley Park, Blackpool beat off stiff competition from three other finalists shortlisted, which included Craigavon City Park in County Armagh, Roath Park in Cardiff and Rouken Glen Park in East Renfrewshire. The award was presented by Fields in Trust Trustee and former British Lion Brynmor Williams, at a ceremony at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London, hosted by TV sports broadcaster Jacqui Oatley MBE.
Commenting on the UK’s Best Park Award 2017 Fields in Trust Chief Executive, Helen Griffiths, said: “On behalf of everyone here at Fields in Trust, I would like to congratulate Stanley Park. The UK’s Best Park Award is open to any green space regardless of whether or not it is protected in perpetuity with Fields in Trust. The people of Blackpool have sent a clear message that they love their local park and I hope that Blackpool Council will recognise this by working with us to safeguard Stanley Park as a place for community sport, play and recreation forever.“
Parks and Green Spaces Minister, Marcus Jones MP, said: “Many congratulations to Stanley Park on being voted the UK’s Best Park 2017 in the Fields in Trust Awards. The public support shown for this park and all the finalists highlights just how much the residents of Blackpool and local communities more widely care about their treasured green spaces. Through the new Parks Action Group we have a great opportunity to ensure our parks remain places to be proud of for generations to come.“