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In 1980, the Countryside Commission launched an initiative known as UFEX80. This was re-branded as "Operation Groundwork" in 1981, and the first Groundwork Trust came into being at St. Helens and Knowsley that year. The organisation has been known as Groundwork UK since then, within a federation of individual Groundwork Trusts, and led by the Groundwork Foundation.
Groundwork UK aims to improve the quality of life throughout the UK. Its priorities are people, places and prosperity, and it aims to build safer and stronger communities, to promote health and well-being, to support local economies, to promote environmental sustainability, to combat climate change, to provide young people with something to do, and to tackle unemployment.
Groundwork UK does not have any local trusts in Scotland, but it works with Scottish charities and agencies.
Groundwork is one of the steering group partners of Neighbourhoods Green, a partnership initiative that works with social landlords and housing associations to highlight the importance of, and raise the overall quality of design and management for, open and green space in social housing.
Groundwork Trusts in the UK
- North West: Bury; Cheshire; Lancashire West & Wigan; Manchester,Salford,Stockport,Tameside & Trafford (created by merger July 2008); Merseyside; Oldham & Rochdale; Pennine Lancashire.
- Groundwork North East & Cumbria: Covering - County Durham, Northumberland, Middlesbrough, Stockton-On-Tees, Redcar and Cleveland, Hartlepool, Darlington, Sunderland and Cumbria.
- Northern Ireland.
- Yorkshire & The Humber: Creswell, Ashfield & Mansfield; Dearne Valley; Leeds; Selby; Sheffield; Wakefield.
- East Midlands: Newark & Sherwood; Creswell, Ashfield & Mansfield; Derby & Derbyshire; Greater Nottingham; Leicester & Leicestershire; Lincolnshire; North Northamptonshire.
- West Midlands: Birmingham & Solihull; Black Country; Coventry & Warwickshire; Stoke-on-Trent.
- Wales: Bridgend & Neath Port Talbot; Caerphilly; Merthyr & Rhondda Cynon Taff; Wrexham & Flintshire.
- East of England: Hertfordshire; Luton & South Bedfordshire; South Essex.
- South West: Devon & Cornwall; Bristol; Dorset; Gloucestshire; Somerset; Wiltshire; Bath & North East Somerset; South Gloucestershire.
- South East: Thames Valley; Kent & Medway; Solent.
- London: East London; Meton; North London; Southwark and Lambeth; South East London; Thames Valley; West London.