Black Country Park

I’ve been putting off commenting on this whole vote for the Black Country Urban Park thing partly because I dislike the whole popularity TV vote way of deciding where money should be invested, especially at this sort of level, but also because as a cyclist I think the Sustrans bid is more worthy. But it’s my duty to push this stuff so for those of you who put local pride above all else (not that there’s nothing wrong with that!) and because there is probably a benefit to the local creative community in there somewhere, here’s a handy piece of propaganda from Jonny BiNS:


  1. The concept of the TV is awful. I wonder who gets the advertising money during the two or three ITV programmes?

    That said, I’d feel it a deriliction of duty if I didn’t push the B/C bid. Plus if you vote online you can vote for nothing – and sod the telephone operators (you can also avoid what will probably be an awful TV prog with Trevor McDonald standing reading an autocure).

    For those that do, I’ve made a Facebook App too.

  2. I’ve seen a lot of promotional stuff around uni for this, and after looking at the site, I still fail to see exactly what the black country will be doing with the money.

    If you read the project summary for each of the bids there all pretty clear, apart from the black country. Money seems just to be going into ‘the region’ instead of one project.

    Am I missing something?

  3. Steve

    I can see why it might be easier for some to understand proposals like complete a visitor centre in Cornwall, build a new one in Sherwood, or close some of the gaps in the national cycleway.

    But the Black Country project is simple too. It’s the only one that’s all about community involvement.

    It’s about where people LIVE. And it’s not about architects and councils doing it FOR them. Many thousands of children, young people and many of our region’s most disadvantaged local communities will be actively involved in a host of transformational environmental projects that will revitalise the area’s greatest historic and natural heritage and will mean that almost everyone who lives in the BC will be within a 15 minute walk of high quality natural greenspace. Loads of creative opportunities for artists in that eh?

    I agree it’s a shame it has to depend on a TV vote. But the Black Country has never otherwise received its fair share of Lottery grants. Eden and Sustrans have already had £60m each. Based on its 1m population, the Black Country would actually need to win £90m just to catch up to the national average!

    So come on, do it, vote Black Country!

  4. Simon H

    It’s on ITV, haven’t the winners already been chosen?

    Yes, everyone, vote! This is the same competition Brum lost for their City Park scheme for Eastside. Lucky enough Rosa’s Cafe is staying a little longer.

  5. It’s just me then. Whole chunks of internet have vanished for me today (including Gmail which is actually a bit of a blessing…) Will check again later.

  6. Jen

    The idea of the People’s Millions scheme is to support a major, transformational project. Steve is spot on in his description of the Black Country proposal. It’s the only one focused directly on improving the lives of people in the area.

    Sustrans is a very worthy project in developing more cycle paths but it couldn’t be described as transformational – it’s about filling some gaps in the existing network.

  7. dp

    The TV thing is a bit annoying, true, particularly since I don’t own/watch the thing. But it turns out that one need not vote by TV, and with oblique reference to another voting campaign, the web and phone options are open to multiple votes. Anyone can vote as often as they like – so long as they do it from a unique IP address or phone number.

    But another point in favour of the scheme is much more salient. Think of the 40-and-50-something people you know who have devoted years of their lives to good causes, and who are thoroughly cynical about the way funding is offered, then withdrawn, and about the way local and national governments give lip service to good projects while undermining them in other ways. Imagine one of these people coming over all excited about the Black Country Urban Park because it represents real money, real opportunity for a host of things that regional organisations have been trying to accomplish for decades.

    If people like that are getting excited, then TV ot no TV, it sounds like a good thing.

Comments are closed.