Glastonbury Abbey has been awarded a grant of £249,990 by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, a significant contribution to its piazza project as part of the Glastonbury Town Deal.
The Glastonbury Abbey Piazza project has received a boost today (6th June 2023) after being awarded nearly £250,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Part of the Glastonbury Town Deal, the piazza will offer a significantly improved visitor welcome to the abbey which includes a refurbished shop and admissions; modernised and expanded visitor toilets; and a landscaped entry and piazza where visitors can meet, have a coffee or enjoy one of the many planned free community events in the expanded space. St. Patrick’s Chapel will be made free to the public within the redesigned welcome space.
This funding, made possible by National Lottery players, is a very welcome and important contribution to the project, helping the abbey build a strong base from which to achieve the aims of the project within the Glastonbury Town Deal. The project has also been awarded £934,367 from the government’s Towns Fund initiative.
Glastonbury Abbey is a heritage attraction in the heart of Glastonbury, offering 36 acres of grounds and spectacular ruins of what was the second richest abbey in England after Westminster. The abbey is an independent charity that relies almost entirely on visitor income to maintain and conserve the Glastonbury Abbey estate for the public and future generations. Each year the abbey attracts in excess of 140,000 visitors and stages a range of successful events including community open days, concerts, the Glastonbury Abbey Medieval Fayre and an outdoor theatre season. The membership scheme offers local residents the opportunity to visit the abbey all year round for less than £1 per week.
Commenting on the award, Janet Bell MBE (Glastonbury Abbey Director and project lead) said: “To receive the support of The National Lottery Heritage Fund for our piazza project is very exciting. Our thanks go to the Heritage Fund and the many National Lottery players who make this award possible. With this contribution we are confident the project will offer a visitor welcome and community space at the abbey befitting an attraction of international standing”
A spokesperson for the Glastonbury Town Deal said: “Securing this level of match funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund is excellent news and will ensure delivery of this outstanding project. We look forward to seeing the Piazza project get underway this autumn and we are confident it will become a cultural focal point for residents and visitors to the town.”
Stuart McLeod, Director of England – London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Investing in heritage means investing in the community it belongs to, which is why we are proud to support the Glastonbury Abbey Piazza project as part of the Town Deal. This will not only create an accessible space that can be enjoyed by locals and visitors from further afield, but will also play a significant role in boosting the local economy and aiding the wider regeneration of Glastonbury.”