Dr Michael White, Town Councillor for St. Benedict’s ward, Glastonbury, has been elected as Vice Chair for the Town Deal Board.
Glastonbury is one of 101 towns chosen to receive investment through the government’s Towns Fund scheme as part of its Levelling Up agenda. This once-in-a-generation opportunity will bring £23.6million of funding to the town and surrounding area. The funding will deliver 11 projects which were developed through engagement with key partners, businesses and community groups.
This appointment comes at an exciting time for Glastonbury Town Deal as works are starting at various sites including path works at Tor Leisure and the new piazza space at Glastonbury Abbey.
Dr White is an Ocean and Climate Scientist with extensive project and research expedition leadership experience. Speaking about his appointment as Vice Chair, Dr White commented: “Being a Councillor for St Benedict’s ward gets me into the High Street most days and so I meet a lot of people. Many want to know about the Town Deal, so it’s important for me to improve stakeholder engagement and media coverage letting people know what’s going on and how they can get involved.
“Another important role is to provide a strong strategic link between the Town Deal Board and Glastonbury Town Council. Glastonbury’s Town Deal may well be unique as most of the projects have a strong grassroots presence – they are driven by people in our community. So, it makes good sense for us to share things that work well and avoid aspects that are less helpful.
“Rising inflation means project costs have risen, so we will help seek additional funds and use local businesses whenever possible. It is an exciting time for Glastonbury and I hope that this investment really makes a difference as we struggle with high levels of poverty and social deprivation.”
Commenting on the appointment of the new Vice Chair, Dr Lynne Sedgmore CBE, Chair of the Glastonbury Town Deal Board, said: “I am delighted with the election of Michael as Vice Chair, he brings a wealth of local experience and has extensive networks and expertise. I know we will work well together on behalf of our town to ensure the success of all the Town Deal projects.”