Three new members have been appointed to the Glastonbury Town Deal board, bringing fresh local knowledge and skills as the eleven Town Deal projects move into the delivery phase.
Indra Donfrancesco, Samantha Cullen and Ros Wyke join the board at a critical point in the process, with several Glastonbury Town Deal projects due to get underway over the next few months.
Indra Donfrancesco has recently been appointed as the new Mayor of Glastonbury. Originally a pupil at St Dunstan’s School in the town, she studied Social History and Politics before becoming a community development worker. Now Mayor of Glastonbury and Councillor for St Benedict’s Ward, she has a passion for saving natural spaces and for participatory democracy.
Samantha Cullen was born and raised in Somerset, moving to London in her twenties to work in TV and film. Since returning to the county, she has worked in local government and national charities, leading the way in good governance and community services. She ran a local business for ten years before deciding to return to her community roots, volunteering for multiple community projects across the area, and now works for a local heritage charity in Street.
Ros Wyke is Lead Member for Prosperity, Assets & Development at Somerset Council and joins the board as a local government representative, as required by the Town Deal governance guidelines. A former Leader of Mendip District Council, she has a background in UK and overseas commercial operational management and is a two-term board chair of Taunton & Somerset NHS Trust. She has supported and promoted a diverse range of projects from architectural heritage, landscape protection, multi-user paths, to promoting dark skies in her community and saving the village shop.
Commenting on their appointment, Dr Lynne Sedgmore CBE, Chair of the Glastonbury Town Deal Board, said: “I am delighted to welcome three new board members. Their perspectives and contributions will be invaluable as we move into the delivery phase of the Glastonbury Town Deal. All three are brimming with ideas, talents and commitment. They each represent different facets of our local and broader community. Sam has several hats and links us into Street and the broader impact of the Town Deal investment into other towns in Somerset; our new Mayor, Indra, brings significant experience of living in, and representing Glastonbury, with links to both the town council and to the alternative community; and Ros has been consistently supportive of the Town Deal since its inception so we welcome her extensive skills, experience and commitment directly onto the Board.”
Glastonbury was one of 101 towns chosen to receive investment through the government’s Towns Fund scheme as part of its Levelling Up agenda. Following the submission of comprehensive Business Cases for each project, formal confirmation of £23.6million funding was received in September 2022, securing this once-in-a-generation funding that is set to revitalise the town. All of the Town Deal funding must be spent by the end of March 2026, so the projects will be delivered within the next three years.
The Glastonbury Town Deal projects aim to deliver a necessary ‘levelling up’ opportunity for the town, bringing existing assets back into community use, and working with local communities to develop the spaces and resources they want and need. The vision is for Glastonbury to be a sustainable, prosperous, modern town and global tourist centre, drawing on its rural landscape, history and unique legacy.