Community crowdfunded parklet project coming to Liverpool.
A long-awaited project which aims to transform unloved urban spaces is coming to Liverpool.
sPark It, a parklet design from Transition Liverpool CIC, originally hit its fundraising total back in December 2020 as part of the Crowdfund Liverpool programme, which also received support from Liverpool City Council’s Mayoral Inclusive Growth Fund.
The vision of the team of volunteers will now be made a reality and the popup parklet will be installed next to the cycle path outside Mann Island this week, and will be in place for six weeks. A series of events will be taking place including performances and free film showings.
“We were stunned by the wave of support this project received during the crowdfunding campaign. Thinking back to the end of 2020, we were in the middle of lockdowns and there were lot of scared people about, so we thought that projects like this were not really at the forefront of people’s minds. But the team had been working hard on the launch campaign, so we thought we’d just give it a go.
“The crowdfunder all happened so quickly, it showed that this idea really got people excited. But once the money was in place, we faced such a turbulent couple of years, and so it proved very difficult for our small team to get our design out onto the street. We’ve had to overcome so many obstacles to get to this point.”
sPark It is a modular design which can be adapted to any space, from on-street parking spots to urban squares, and the designs can fulfil multiple uses.
The design itself was created by Ross Neal, Director of Liverpool-based f(N) Architects, who has been volunteering on this project since he came across the crowdfunder. He said:
“sPark It is all about community. The Transition team wanted to find creative ways to combat climate change, and in Liverpool that means tackling air pollution, making our streets safer for walking, wheeling and cycling, supporting small businesses and finding ways to bring nature and community back into the city.
“Our parklets can do all of those things. We have created designs for many different locations, for businesses such as The Art School Restaurant and The Pen Factory, as well as for community groups such as Merseyside Youth Support Trust and Mulgrave Street Action Group.
“All of these designs will be showcased on the new website, but this first popup is really about showing how flexible a parklet can be – multiple uses in a small space that would normally stand empty. Thanks to Make CIC, everything that will be used in the parklet, from the timber through to the greenery, has been sourced from within 5 miles of Liverpool. This helps us support local businesses and keep our carbon footprint as small as possible.”
The team behind sPark It plan to create parklets across the Liverpool region, using the profits from business and corporate sales to help social organisations, charities and community groups create their own imaginative transformations.
“It is a testament to the amazing passion and dedication of our volunteers, and to the organisations who are supporting us, that we can finally see our first parklet installed this month. I’d just like to thank our funders – over 90 individuals, as well as the Transition Network, Hope Street’s The Annexe, and Liverpool Council’s Mayoral Inclusive Growth Fund, for contributing. The fact that we had so many supporters is what has helped us see this through.”