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: St Edmund’s Community Hall

Town Deal Accelerator Funding enables renovation of much-needed community space

£50,000 funding was awarded from the Town Deal Accelerator Fund for:

  • General refurbishment of hall 
  • Improved kitchen
  • Renovation of toilets
  • Improved outside area
  • Install height barrier to avoid car park being used for unlawful parking purposes

Key achievements and benefits delivered: 

  • Hall made weathertight and insulated, providing at least 30 more years of useful service
  • Upgraded kitchen installed enabling events, clubs and other activities to use the facilities
  • Toilets refurbished
  • External cladding replaced and insulated
  • Lighting and heating upgraded
  • Installation of height barrier

Project Overview

Extensive renovations at St Edmund’s Community Hall in the Windmill Hill area of Glastonbury have given the facilities a much-needed boost, bringing the hall back into regular community use.

Based in one of the more deprived parts of the town, the existing portacabin was nearing the end of its useful life. It needed to be fully refurbished so that it could once again provide a suitable, comfortable space where the local community could congregate.

Now weathertight and insulated, the Hall is benefiting from new external cladding, an upgraded kitchen and electrics, better lighting and heating, improved energy efficiency and refurbished toilets.

As a result of this transformation, the hall has seen a surge in interest and demand from groups in the Windmill Hill area, once again becoming a central meeting point for the local community.

How was this funded?

£50,000 of the investment was government funded following a successful bid last year from the Glastonbury Town Deal Board, resulting 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.

The St Edmund’s Community Hall Management Committee contributed an additional £15,000 to the project from the hall’s reserve bank account. While the Accelerator Funding could only be used for capital projects, the reserves were used to improve the overall aesthetics and tangible experience of using the hall.

Project Gallery

Why was this work required?

St Edmund’s Community Hall had fallen into disrepair and was in urgent need of refurbishment. Because of its condition, usage had declined significantly and local residents had been left without a satisfactory space in which they could meet and socialise.

The kitchen needed to be upgraded so the hall could cater for events and other gatherings, plus updates were required to the heating and lighting systems, bringing them up to modern standards.

Early in the project, it was discovered that the existing external cladding was rotting. This was replaced as a priority and insulation added, resulting in the hall now being warmer, better insulated and more energy efficient.

What are the benefits for the local community?

The project has transformed the atmosphere of St Edmund’s Community Hall, helping to bring it back to life and reposition it at the heart of the local community.

Residents of Windmill Hill and the surrounding areas now have access to a flexible, practical and comfortable space that can accommodate a wide range of services and activities.

Installing proper kitchen facilities means that local residents do not necessarily have to travel into the centre of town to meet and socialise. The kitchen was fitted to a commercial standard and there is an aspiration to set up a café there in the future, providing a real social hub for the community.

The new height barrier and resulting absence of live-in vehicles in the car park have been welcomed by local residents, who are now using the parking area again for its intended purpose.

The hall now has bookings every weekday evening and most daytimes, with regular users including the YMCA-led Windmill Hill Youth Club, local Morris dancers, a self-help group, a dance class, a music class, a book club, a life-drawing class and a yoga class. There are also numerous one-off bookings from locals for events and private parties, plus some residents are exploring the possibility of organising a community curry club and a regular car boot sale.

The project has not only provided improved facilities for local groups, but has renewed the hall’s place as a central hub for the community, run by locals for locals.

Two Windmill Hill residents have since expressed an interest in joining the hall’s committee, each representing a very different part of the local community. There are also a number of other residents who are keen to volunteer their time further improving the outside area and establishing a community garden space.

St Edmund’s Community Hall is a registered charity so it is very affordable to use. Through this project, it has been returned to the community as an asset and a welcoming community space once again.

Who was involved?

The Glastonbury Town Deal Board successfully bid for the £500k ‘Accelerator’ Funding (which was used to finance this and four other projects in the town). This funding 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 by the St Edmund’s Community Hall committee.

Local organisations provided support with clearing, cleaning and painting, including the Town Hall Maintenance Team and the Glastonbury Youth Council.

Local contractors and suppliers were employed, where possible. Volunteers were also an enormous help, generously giving more than 300 hours of time and expertise to support and progress the project, ensuring it was completed on time and within budget.

Local companies and contractors involved in the St Edmund’s Community Hall development included:

  • Bruton Tree Care
  • David Russell
  • QCM Equipment
  • Reality Building Design
  • Wyatt Welding

The St Edmund’s Community Hall Committee welcomes public involvement in the running of the hall. An invitation is open to join Friends of St Edmund’s Hall and contact details can be found on the St Edmund’s Community Hall Facebook page.