‘Good guys’ turn to business community for partnerships

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A charity that looks after parks and green spaces across Milton Keynes is looking to promote itself more among the business community.

The Parks Trust, based at Campbell Park Pavilion, held a business breakfast meeting on Wednesday, October 24, to plug what the trust can offer companies.

Chief executive David Foster said: “We are thought of as the good guys in the city.” And he added that by being associated with the Parks Trust some of that ‘goodness and green-ness’ could rub off.”

The Parks Trust, which has assets of more than £84million, is landlord for a number of businesses including pubs, across the city and beyond and their rents provide an income. It costs about £5million a year to maintain the 5,000 acres of parks across the new city,

But the trust is aiming to reach assets of £120million to help make it “financially sustainable forever”.

Mr Foster said companies could help themselves by helping the 20-year-old Parks Trust. “By getting staff out of the office in conservation work, clearing out ponds and hedge-laying, they will feel that have done something really rewarding.

“They will be speaking to people they don’t normally speak to and will go back to work thinking ‘this isn’t a bad company to be working for’.”

He added: “We do have a brand and feel it is quite strong in the city.” Charity events held in Parks Trust-maintained green spaces are thought to make £500,000 for good causes each year.

Derek Bell, branch manager at Handelsbanken in Silbury Boulevard, said there were ‘no issues involved with us being involved with the Parks Trust again’. The trust is a customer of the bank which sponsored the Proms in the Park event.

Mr Bell said: “It’s our way of giving something back, it’s like food for the soul.”