Council to relocate Glastonbury highway depot to allow regeneration plans to progress

By Daniel Mumby - Local Democracy Reporter

24th Mar 2023 | Local News

Proposed location of the Glastonbury Enterprise and Innovation Hub on Beckery Road in Glastonbury - Google Maps
Proposed location of the Glastonbury Enterprise and Innovation Hub on Beckery Road in Glastonbury - Google Maps

A council highway depot will be relocated in the coming months to allow a key regeneration project to get under way.

Somerset County Council currently runs vehicle depots at the Fiveways Centre on the A37 Ilchester Road in Yeovil and the Beckery Resource Centre on Beckery Road in Glastonbury.

As part of the £23.6m Glastonbury town deal (which is funded by central government), the latter location will be turned into the Glastonbury Enterprise and Innovation Hub (GEIH), providing a vital base for small- and medium-sized businesses.

The council has now confirmed it will be closing both depots and moving operations to a new site in Somerton, in order to allow the £1.7m regeneration project to proceed.

In addition to providing office and meeting space for small businesses, the GEIH will include food manufacturing and digital skills training space.

Of the £1.7m allocated to the project, £1.2m comes directly from the town deal, with the remaining £500,000 being provided by the council through its economic recovery fund.

Harry Morris, the council's economic development officer, stated in March 2022: "The first element of the hub would provide covid-adapted office space for SMEs or micro-businesses on flexible terms.

"This would be accompanied by a business support offer. It will include provision of dedicated food manufacturing and development space with support from training and educational establishments.

"It will further include digital infrastructure and skills facilities, providing dedicated meeting or training rooms for training providers and would link to existing services across Somerset and Glastonbury."

Richard Edwards, the council's property project officer, confirmed the transition in a report recently published on the council's official website.

He stated: "The Beckery site has been identified as suitable for economic development, to create a place for new businesses to be supported and developed, known as nursery business start-up units.

"This forms part of the work to provide regeneration in the Glastonbury area, delivering and supporting a government initiative through central funding opportunities that have been awarded to the Glastonbury town deal.

"This requires the relocation of the transporting fleet from this site."

The vehicles from Glastonbury and Yeovil will be relocating to council-owned land on Etsome Terrace in Somerton – land occupied by part of King Ina Church of England Academy before the school relocated to a newly-built facility on Northfield in 2020.

Mr Richards added: "This site has been specifically chosen following an extensive feasibility study of ten sites.

"The Former King Ina School site was identified as best value, and accurate in terms of size and levels for fleet vehicles.

"This project will lead to the creation of a single consolidated site in Somerton with the subsequent cost savings and benefits accruing."

The GEIH is one of several projects designed to improve the Beckery area of Glastonbury within the town deal, enhancing the western gateway to the town and improving its existing offer for both commercial and community use.

Plans to regenerate the nearby Baily's Buildings are currently being considered by Mendip District Council – though a final decision will likely be taken by the new unitary Somerset Council, which assumes control on April 1.

Two further projects within the town deal – the creation of the Glastonbury community sports and leisure hub on the A361 Street Road, and a revamp to the entrance of Glastonbury Abbey on Magdalene Street – were approved in December 2022 and February 2023 respectively.

     

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