Posted: 05.11.19 at 12:13 by Tim Lethaby
Mendip District Council has received a £140,000 grant to start local consultations on how government money can be spent in Glastonbury.
The town is set for a boost following the Government’s announcement that Mendip is to act as the lead authority in plans to transform the town centre, as part of its Town Deal initiative.
The £140,000 grant has been made available to kick-start consultations within the local community, to bring together a Town Deal Board, and to help develop an investment plan for the town.
News of the grant cash, to cover governance costs and arrangements, was revealed in the Government’s recently published Towns Fund Prospectus.
The prospectus provides next-step guidance to local authorities in the 100 places chosen to pioneer Town Deals, which includes Glastonbury.
The Town Deal initiative was designed to "level up" all parts of the country, by regenerating town centres to boost businesses, improve infrastructure, encourage enterprise and bring communities together.
Glastonbury can potentially bid for up to £25 million of the Government’s £3.6 billion Town’s Fund pot.
Glastonbury people will be at the centre of plans and will be given the money and power to decide what’s best for their town.
They’ll decide on how the funds can be used to regenerate the place, create new businesses, new jobs and new homes.
The local community in Glastonbury will be asked to consider how they can improve transport links and increase access to high-speed broadband.
The cash could be used to redevelop vacant buildings and land, drive private sector investment by supporting small businesses and ensure young people have the skills they need to get good jobs.
As lead council, Mendip will ensure a Town Deal Board is established by the new year. It will include representatives from across the public, private and voluntary sectors, and will be chaired by a representative of the business community.
The board, in consultation with communities, will develop a bespoke Town Investment Plan for Glastonbury by summer 2020, providing a clear vision for building on the town’s unique strengths.
Cllr Peter Goater, portfolio holder for economic development at Mendip, said: “This is a huge opportunity for Glastonbury and fantastic news for the town.
"We hope local people will come together to put forward some comprehensive plans which will see Glastonbury get a fair share of this funding available.”
In due course the Government will announce details of a further competition, beyond the initial 100, to develop plans for their own Town Deals – potentially giving other towns in the district the exciting economic opportunity that Glastonbury is to benefit from.