Hemel Garden Communities is a development programme that will transform Hemel Hempstead and create attractive and sustainable new neighbourhoods and communities to the north and east of Hemel Hempstead, through the delivery of around 11,000 new homes and 10,000 new jobs by 2050.

As the town grows through Hemel Garden Communities, it’s important to ensure that any new community spaces and facilities, like our parks, sports grounds and community centres, are properly looked after for years to come.  This is known as stewardship.

There are many different approaches to stewardship of community facilities, they could be taken care of by a local council, or by a private management company, or they may be managed by a local community organisation or project. There are also national organisations that offer stewardship, for example The National Trust or the Canal & River Trust. Below are some of the organisations who are involved in stewardship, at a local level that you may be familiar with:







Stewardship is key to the original Garden City Principles, which were set out when the first Garden Cities like Letchworth and Welwyn were designed and built more than 100 years ago.  The Town and Country Planning Association, who have revised the original principles for the 21st century, recognise the importance of ‘Community ownership of land and long-term stewardship of assets’

Letchworth is an example of an original Garden City that still has community stewardship at its heart.  The Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation is the largest landlord in Letchworth Garden City. Income generated from the property it owns, funds its charitable commitments, and allows it to re-invest its profits in the local community, providing cultural facilities, such as the town’s cinema, and it provides grants to tackle issues within the town.

The foundation is governed by representatives including local residents, and members of local clubs and societies. They oversee the community management of assets and services in Letchworth. These assets and services include affordable housing, food production and arts and cultural facilities and are in addition to those provided by the local authority.​  Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation


If you would like to find out more about community stewardship, the organisation Locality is a good place to start

Locality is a national network that supports community organisations, providing information, advice and support. 

The government also offers grants to community groups who are interested in managing community assets, through the Community Ownership Fund (hyperlink)