The Glastonbury Town Deal has secured £23.6 million investment for the town, representing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver the objectives outlined in the Town Investment Plan

Project: Herbie’s Field

Town Deal Accelerator Funding delivers improved green space, plus new event parking and provision

After a successful bid from the Glastonbury Town Deal Board, £55,000 funding was awarded from the Town Deal Accelerator Fund for:

  • Improved green space, including surfacing, drainage, landscaping, entranceway and footpath
  • Provision of additional 450 car parking spaces for events, annual community fair and town amenities

Key achievements and benefits delivered:

  • Improved event parking
  • Improved entranceway with refurbished Morlands gates
  • New footpath section created
  • Improved landscaping
  • Commercial growing of cricket bat willows providing a long-term income
  • Planting of seeds for wild flower meadow
  • Protected from development through registration with Fields in Trust

Project Overview

Up to 450 new parking spaces have been created in Glastonbury to prevent dangerous and anti-social parking in the town, particularly during large events.

Located at Herbie’s Field, next to Northload Bridge, this is a result of extensive drainage and improvement work at the site, which can now provide parking facilities for up to 28 days per year.

Other improvements to the site include a new wildflower meadow, hedges, trees and footpaths.

The project preserves vital green space in the centre of town and protects the site from further development.

How was this funded?

The entire £55,000 investment in this project has been covered by government funding following a successful bid last year from the Glastonbury Town Deal Board that resulted in an early release of £500k of the Towns Fund money.

This ‘Accelerator’ Funding was made available to each of the 101 towns selected by the government to work towards a Town Deal, for investment in capital projects that would have an immediate impact and help places ‘build back better’ in the wake of COVID-19.

Project Gallery

Why was this work required?

Herbie’s Field was historically an agricultural field, occasionally used for large fairs and events. However, as the size and weight of vehicles increased, trucks and rides would get stuck in the mud in wet weather. To solve the waterlogging issues, the top soil was removed, a membrane was installed at Herbie’s Field and covered by stone and soil to create trackways, improve drainage and allow the grass to regrow.

Parking in Glastonbury is already at a premium, which is exacerbated when large events bring many more visitors into the town, and councillors have been searching for a solution for some years.

As a result of the improvements, Herbie’s Field will become the permanent site for the Tor Fair – England’s second oldest charter fair, which has been running for more than 820 years. The 2.5-acre site will also be used for parking for other large events, including Glastonbury Extravaganza, Beltane, Road Run, the town Carnival and Frost Fayre.

Herbie’s Field is being added to the Fields in Trust list to ensure that it cannot be developed and will be protected for people to enjoy in perpetuity.

What are the benefits for the local community?

This is an early example of the benefits that the Glastonbury Town Deal aims to deliver, bringing existing assets back into community use, and working with local communities to develop the spaces and resources that they want and need.

A new footpath lets visitors take a safer walk into town, rather than having to skirt the bypass alongside heavy traffic.

A new circular walk around the field offers opportunities for healthy exercise in open space – so important during the COVID-19 pandemic – and provides a mental uplift thanks to the beautiful plants and seasonal wildflowers.

The boundary wall of Herbie’s Field has been repaired and additional hedging planted, so dog owners can safely walk their animals off-lead. Some hedges have been dedicated to loved ones by locals, which will be commemorated with a special plaque. Cricket bat willow trees have been plantedto generate sustainable revenue in the future.

The salvaged Morlands factory gates, which have now been restored and repainted, have been positioned at the entrance to Herbie’s Field as a tribute to the impressive industrial heritage of the town.

The Herbie’s Field project will bring a welcome economic boost to Glastonbury, by enabling safe and convenient parking, which will encourage more visitors to attend town events and attractions, shop at local stores and support businesses.

Who was involved?

The Glastonbury Town Deal Board successfully bid for the £500k ‘Accelerator’ Funding. This was made available by the government to all 101 of the Town Deal areas, to address issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mendip District Council was the accountable body, and the project was managed and delivered through Glastonbury Town Council, which owns the land.

Glastonbury contractors and suppliers have been employed, where possible. Volunteers have also been an enormous help in generously giving their time and expertise, with the Herbie’s Field project benefiting from almost 200 hours of in-kind support from volunteers.

Despite a tight deadline of less than six months, the project was delivered on time and within budget thanks to the hard work of contractors, staff, councillors and volunteers.

Residential neighbours to the field were kept informed throughout the process and are apparently delighted with the results.

Local companies involved in the Herbie’s Field development included:

  • Baker and Adlam
  • Bannell Engineering
  • CRS Building Supplies
  • RA Rousell & Sons
  • Tor Mulitmix

Partners who have been consulted about the Herbie’s Field project include Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce, the Environment Agency for riverbanks and the Upper Brue Drainage Board.