Manchester’s Mayfield Park Takes a Stand on World No Tobacco Day, Pledges to Become Smokefree in June

In a groundbreaking move towards a healthier future, Mayfield Park, the newest public park in Manchester’s city centre, announced its commitment today, on World No Tobacco Day, to transform into a smokefree space starting next month. Since its opening in September 2022, the 6.5-acre park has quickly become a popular destination for people of all ages, and it now leads the way as Greater Manchester’s first green space supporting the creation of smokefree areas.

Greater Manchester joined the esteemed Partnership for Healthy Cities network in 2021, a venture backed by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the World Health Organisation (WHO), and Vital Strategies. As part of this initiative, the city was granted funds to develop more outdoor smokefree spaces in 2023 and beyond. Collaborating closely with local authorities, landowners, and community groups, Greater Manchester has been working diligently to establish several smokefree spaces and events, effectively safeguarding residents and visitors from the severe and life-threatening illnesses associated with tobacco. These spaces encompass children’s play areas, school entrances, and even smokefree Pride events.

The expansion of smokefree outdoor areas has garnered considerable support from the people of Greater Manchester. An impressive 78% of the population expressed their approval of extending smokefree spaces in a 2018 survey, with particular concern for the impact of smoking on children and young people. The public favored children’s playgrounds (93% in favor), school entrances (92%), outside public libraries and town halls (72%), public parks (65%), and outdoor events (60%) as the ideal areas for a smokefree environment.

Laura Percy, the Development Director at LandsecU+I, leading the regeneration efforts of Mayfield on behalf of the Mayfield Partnership, a public-private collaboration, expressed her enthusiasm, stating, “By creating Mayfield Park, we sought not only to celebrate the pioneering innovation of this site since the Industrial Revolution but also to pave the way for a cleaner, greener future for the present and future generations of Mancunians to enjoy. We are thrilled to continue our mission to build a better city here at Mayfield, and we take great pride in being part of the Greater Manchester community and this remarkable initiative. The park offers a stunning space in the heart of the city, providing numerous benefits for people’s health and well-being.”

She further emphasized the importance of becoming a smokefree park, noting that it would enhance the overall experience for visitors and staff while protecting the park’s wildlife, waterways, and biodiversity. Collaborating with Manchester City Council and NHS Greater Manchester, Mayfield Park aims to encourage and support individuals to refrain from smoking within the park when it transitions to a smokefree zone next month.

Paul Dennett, Chair of the Greater Manchester Integrated Care Partnership Board and Deputy Mayor for Greater Manchester, underlined the significance of this move, stating, “Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable illnesses and death, and in Greater Manchester, we are fully committed to eradicating smoking to improve the health and well-being of our population. The public’s overwhelming support for more smokefree spaces reflects their genuine concern for protecting everyone from the real risks of second-hand smoke and promoting healthier behaviors that prevent young people from starting to smoke. We are thrilled that Mayfield Park has recognized the importance of safeguarding our communities from the harms of smoking and has become the first green space to embrace this initiative. We now urge other outdoor spaces to join Mayfield Park in our endeavor to create a smokefree city-region.”

Sarah Price, Chief Officer for Population and Inequalities and Deputy Chief Executive of NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care, commended Mayfield Park’s decision

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