What's Happening?

Newcastle City Council is having to rethink how it delivers many of its services, including the city’s parks and allotments. The council wants to get your views on ideas developed so far, and hear your ideas on how parks in Newcastle should be run in future.



Over the past seven years, the council’s parks budget has reduced by over 90%, meaning that finding new ways of financing and running the city’s parks is essential. Newcastle City Council wants to do this whilst staying committed to improving the way parks services are delivered, keeping them in public ownership, safe, and free to use, as well as protecting the environment and making sure that local people, community groups and partners are fully involved in the future delivery of the service.

Newcastle City Council has been working with the National Trust, benefitting from their experience preserving our national heritage and parks, to help work out a way forward. In particular, the council has been researching the possibility of transferring the operation, delivery and maintenance of a large proportion of the city’s parks and allotments to a new Charitable Trust.

This is very much a work in progress, and Newcastle City Council needs your thoughts and views to help shape the way forward. You can read the full proposal here: The Future of Newcastle's Parks and Allotments 2017 (and list of allotments).  You can also view a map of the parks here.

Lets Talk Newcastle        Newcastle City Council



During March and April, Open Lab will run a number of additional public events with Newcastle City Council’s Communities Team. Events will provide you with opportunities to explore specific aspects of the council’s proposals for Newcastle’s parks, and share your ideas via three strands of activities: workshops, Twitter discussions, and the ‘explore’ section of the Let’s Talk Parks website. These activities will run from 13 March-22 April. Views and ideas collected from all of these activities will be used to shape the council’s proposals for Newcastle’s parks.


We are offering a number of two-hour workshops for groups of no more than 25 people on a first come, first served basis. To book your place, click here indicating your preferred workshop date and location. 

Twitter Hour

Held on Wednesdays at 7pm between 15 March and 5 April, these hour-long debates will be hosted by  @NCLTalkParks  and use the hashtag #NewcastleParks. Each Twitter discussion will focus on a different question and provide opportunities to engage with dynamic polls around alternative futures for Newcastle’s parks.

Explore – Let’s Talk Parks

The explore section of the Let’s Talk Parks website will act as a repository for opinions and ideas gathered across the engagements, where members of the public will be able to view and comment on proposals and engage in further discussions.

Sign up or visit our event page for more details.



Open Lab is a cross-disciplinary research centre at Newcastle University and is one of the world’s leading research centres into human-computer interaction. One of our biggest research areas is into digital civics, where we explore how digital technology can help bridge the gap between users and providers of services, between citizens and governments, between individuals and communities.