Posted: 01.10.21 at 17:05 by Daniel Mumby - Local Democracy Reporter
More than £6 million will be spent breathing new life into the Baily’s Buildings in Glastonbury as part of a multi-million pound grant from central government.
Mendip District Council and its other partners on the Glastonbury Town Deal board have secured a total of £23.6 million for 12 projects designed to boost the high street and secure the town’s future.
The board has now published details of exactly how much money from the newly-renamed Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) will be given to each project, should the final business cases be approved by the Treasury.
This comes on the eve of the first in a series of public meetings about the town deal, giving residents an opportunity to shape the fine details of how their town centre will be improved between now and 2026.
Glastonbury was selected by the government in September 2019 as one of 101 towns across the UK to benefit from its £3.6 billion towns fund – and is one of only two Somerset towns to see a share (the other being Bridgwater).
The government provided £500,000 of ‘accelerator funding’ in late-2020 to kick-start five small-scale projects, offsetting some of the damage caused to town centres by the coronavirus pandemic.
The town deal board driving the regeneration efforts forward comprises representatives from the county, district and town councils, the YMCA, the NHS, the Glastonbury Festival, the town’s chamber of commerce and Wells MP James Heappey.
The board originally published the shortlist of the 12 larger projects in February, bidding for a total of £24.5 million and hoping to pull in further funding from other sources.
The government subsequently confirmed in August that Glastonbury would receive a total of £23.6 million on top of the accelerator funding – a higher sum than Bridgwater (£22.6 million on top of £750,000 accelerator funding) but still £900,000 lower than anticipated.
The 12 projects being taken forward in the town deal are as follows:
Regeneration of the Baily’s Buildings into a zero-carbon hub for local businesses, housing the Glastonbury Environment Centre (see below) and a new visitor’s centre which celebrates the town’s industrial heritage. GRANT FUNDING: £6.09M
An enterprise and innovation centre in Beckery House, which will include space for food manufacturing and digital skills training. GRANT FUNDING: £1.17M
Completion of the work on The Red Brick Building C, delivering dedicated facilities for artisans, musicians and performers as well as an upgraded base for Glastonbury FM. GRANT FUNDING: £2.67M
The Glastonbury Clean Energy project spearheaded by Avalon Community Energy, creating “self-financing green jobs” through solar panel installations and reinvesting profits into the community. GRANT FUNDING: £2.8M
The Glastonbury Environment Centre within the Baily’s Buildings, providing a gateway to the Avalon Marshes. GRANT FUNDING: £2.72M
Renovation of St Brigid’s Chapel and Field, making it easier to access the site as part of the town’s tourist trail and bringing its unique heritage to life. GRANT FUNDING: £670,000
The Food and Regenerative Farming Centre, re-purposing 23 acres of under-used pasture land and buildings to educate locals and provide locally grown food for businesses in the town. GRANT FUNDING: £1.13M
New park and ride service to reduce town centre traffic, making it easier for visitors to the area and boosting the night-time economy. GRANT FUNDING: £930,000
Phosphate mitigation and providing traveller sites , including improvements to the town’s sewage treatment facility managed by Wessex Water and securing a new local site for the traveller community. GRANT FUNDING: £1.41M
Regeneration of St Dunstan’s House as a town hub, providing a base for community groups to host a range of activities in a covid-secure space. GRANT FUNDING: £1.21M
Renovating the entrance to Glastonbury Abbey through a new open piazza space, upgrading the existing shop and ticket offices and demolishing the “inadequate” toilet block. GRANT FUNDING: £930,000
Improvements to the Tor Leisure Centre site , relocating Glastonbury FC, providing a new clubhouse and an all-weather pitch that can also support field hockey, tennis and netball, along with a new bowling green. GRANT FUNDING: £1.87M
The first public meeting for the town deal projects will be held at St Dunstan’s House on Magdalene Street today (October 1) between 4pm and 7pm, and again tomorrow (October 2) between 10am and noon.
Councillor Liz Leyshon, the district council’s portfolio holder for corporate services and projects, confirmed in early-September that meetings would be held for each of the 12 projects before the end of the year.
She said: “There are huge amounts of work going on – there are public meetings coming up now for each project. It is going to be a very, very busy time.”
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