• Welcome to Parks Academy

    Parks Academy is a new initiative from Shared Assets.


    The way we manage our parks and open spaces is changing. Cuts to public finances mean that local authorities, developers, housing associations and other organisations, are looking to develop new models for managing parks and green spaces.


    Parks Academy brings together Shared Assets' expertise on developing new models for parks, our practical experience of what works and our track record of creating supportive, interactive and engaging training experiences. Parks Academy will help nurture solutions to our public open space crisis.


    Our next training courses are in London in September. Watch this space for updates on the development of Parks Academy, including masterclasses, peer networking, action learning and more.

  • Upcoming Training

    Are you a senior officer, service leader, elected member or contractor considering the future management and governance of your public open space assets? Our participative, engaging courses will help you think through your options, plan for the future, and network with your peers.

    Thinking about new models for parks

    This course provides an introduction to the range of new business and governance models currently being developed for the management of parks and open spaces. It will draw on real life examples and give delegates a robust framework to consider their own options.

    • Reasons for considering new models
    • Options for legal structures and business models
    • Opportunities and risks in developing new models for parks
    • Undertaking an options appraisal
    • The resources required and support available
    Next session: 10.30am - 4pm, 12th September 2017, London

    Implementing new models for parks

    This course provides an opportunity to explore and plan the process of successfully implementing new models for the management of parks and open spaces. It will provide frameworks and tools that will help delegates implement sustainable new models. Topics include:

    • Engaging internal and external stakeholders
    • Understanding your assets and finances
    • Establishing new legal and governance structures
    • Developing business plans
    • Leases and management agreements
    • Transferring assets and staff
    Next session: 10.30am - 4pm, 19th September 2017, London

    Costs & logistics

    Both courses will take place in central London, near Old Street. You may take the courses separately, or together. Prices are as follows:

    • £250 + VAT for a single course
    • £225 + VAT for a single course (early bird)
    • £400 + VAT for both courses (early bird)
    The early bird offer expires on Monday 31st July, so move quickly!


    Course fees include delegates' documentation, course material, as well as lunch and refreshments for the day.


    The venue for both days is St Luke's Community Centre in central London, close to Old Street underground and an easy journey from many national rail stations.


    Click here for a map and to get directions.


    The full address is

    90 Central St,


    EC1V 8AJ

  • Book Now!

    for our upcoming courses in London

  • What others say

    Feedback from senior parks officers attending our last course in March 2017

    "The whole programme was very useful and the mix of presentations and discussion with other delegates was useful"

    "I enjoyed all aspects of the day. I felt it was very well structured, the content was good, and the presentation clear and well thought out. I liked the format which helped all present to contribute."

    "A well considered programme that kept moving at a pace that could be followed. Not too much jargon and I liked the flexible approach to issues"

  • About Shared Assets

    Shared Assets is a social enterprise think and do tank that makes land work for everyone.

    Our Experience

    Parks innovation

    We have unparalleled experience developing new models for the management and governance of parks and open spaces.


    Projects we have worked on include increasing the role of Friends groups, establishing new CICs and charities, developing governance and business models for area wide charitable trusts, and the development of a model for a Parks Improvement District funded by a levy on business rates.

    Our Expertise

    Governance & complexity

    We have particular expertise in the development of appropriate governance models and in the creation of enterprising business models to support their operation.


    We are also experienced in supporting the transfer of ownership or operation of local authority assets to community and charitable organisations.


    We can help you untangle the complexity of parks and create sustainable solutions.

    Our Approach

    Pragmatic & participative

    We are not wedded to any particular approach or model but take a collaborative and pragmatic approach, mindful of the specific context, relationships, and available resources. We are keen to share our experience with others considering or implementing new management models for parks.

    We are skilled trainers and facilitators with a track record of delivering informative, engaging, and participative workshops and training courses.

  • Meet Our Team

    Parks Academy is delivered by Shared Assets' executive directors

    Mark Walton

    Mark established Shared Assets in 2012. He has over 20 years experience of working with communities on environmental issues and contributes his expertise across the full range of Shared Assets work, including our policy, research, advocacy, and advice and support services.

    Kate Swade

    Kate has been with Shared Assets since 2012, and delivers consultancy, support, training and research. She has over 10 years experience of community led regeneration and of working with groups of people to take more control of their environments.

  • Contact Us

    Drop us a line with any questions or visit our website for more general information

  • Twitter

    We don't just do parks! Check out some of our other work through our twitter feed.