Members of the Glastonbury Town Deal Board voted on Friday (30 July) to progress all 12 of the projects originally outlined in the Town Investment Plan (TIP), bringing £23.6m investment for the town a step closer.
Glastonbury is one of 101 towns in the UK to receive investment as part of the Government’s Town Deal Fund scheme. However, having originally applied for £24.5m to fund the 12 projects, the Board had a difficult decision to make about how to address the £900k shortfall. The award for Glastonbury was in line with those around the country, in that very few received the full allocation of funding.
The Board discussed a range of options before voting unanimously in favour of continuing with all 12 projects, applying a 3.6 per cent reduction to each so that nothing is cut from the plan and the decision is as fair as possible to all.
The next step is for Glastonbury Town Deal Board and Mendip District Council to confirm to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) that they wish to take forward all 12 projects, submitting additional financial and monitoring & evaluation information by 28 August 2021.
In line with HM Treasury’s Green Book and Supplementary Guidance, a 5 Stage Business Case will then need to be developed for each of the projects, as well as an overarching Business Case for the whole programme. This work will be undertaken over the coming months and all Business Cases must be submitted to the MHCLG by 28 June 2022.
Chair of the Town Deal Board, Robert Richards, said: “There has been a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes with the project leaders, delivery team and my fellow Town Deal Board members. I would like to extend my thanks to them all as we now take another step closer to bringing in the £23.6m Towns Fund investment in Glastonbury – the highest award in the South West and one of the highest per capita in the UK. This project will provide tangible opportunities for local businesses, improved resources for the local community, and a real legacy for the town that will benefit Glastonbury and its residents long into the future.”
Mayor of Glastonbury, Cllr Jon Cousins, said: “This decision was another important milestone for Glastonbury. I’m pleased that the Board agreed to progress all 12 projects. There are elements within the Town Investment Plan that benefit different parts of our community and, with regeneration and sustainability at the very heart of the Plan, it is only right that all of our ambitions for the town are realised, albeit with nominal budget cuts. With a collaborative approach, I’m sure we can find ways to consolidate some costs and requirements to ensure that Glastonbury still gains maximum benefits from the funding.”
Leader of Mendip District Council, Cllr Ros Wyke, said: “I’m delighted to hear of the good progress made by the Glastonbury Town Deal Board and the vital decisions they are making at their regular meetings. The support of the Board is absolutely essential to the success of the Town Investment Plan that was received so positively by the Government. Their oversight and guidance, together with the expertise of Mendip’s officers and consultants, will ensure successful projects form the core of the renewal and regrowth of the town.
“Glastonbury is a major visitor destination as well as a very special place to live and work. The twelve projects in development will bring together infrastructure and services to enable greater prosperity. They are exactly what the people of this unique town deserve.”
The TIP was developed by the Town Deal Board through engagement with key partners, businesses, community groups and Mendip District Council as the lead authority. Its aim is to deliver a necessary ‘levelling up’ opportunity for the town, bringing existing assets back into community use, and working with local communities to deliver the spaces and resources that they want and need. The overall aim is for Glastonbury to be a sustainable, prosperous, modern town and global tourist centre, drawing on its rural landscape, history and unique legacy.