Skills & training took centre stage at the latest Glastonbury Town Deal event, with local specialists offering advice and opportunities to help the local community make the most of the £23.6million Towns Fund investment.
Held on Thursday 24th November at Glastonbury Town Hall, the open event provided an opportunity for local residents and businesses to find out more about the 11 approved Glastonbury Town Deal projects and the benefits these will deliver for the local community.
Skills & training providers including Strode College, Somerset Skills & Learning and Train4All were available throughout the event to speak to visitors about the support and training they can provide to help people get involved in the Town Deal projects.
Other organisations there to help local businesses benefit from the Town Deal opportunity included Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, Somerset Chamber of Commerce, Somerset EBP (Education Business Partnership) and SBA (Somerset Business Agency).
As well as engaging with visitors about their plans, the event provided a platform for project representatives to speak with the skills & training providers and business support organisations about the types of contracts, roles and skills that will be involved in their projects.
Dr Lynne Sedgmore CBE, Chair of the Glastonbury Town Deal Board, said: “The day has been a huge success! We’ve had lots of people coming in from the local community and lots of local businesses too, all interested to see how they can be part of this once-in-a-generation opportunity. There’s been a considerable amount of learning, networking, new ideas, innovation and contributions, so I’m deeply grateful to everyone involved. It’s because it’s a huge team, all working together in the interest of Glastonbury, that we’ve had such a successful day. Now it’s time for us to deliver on our promise to the town!”
This was the first Glastonbury Town Deal event held since the 11 projects were approved in late September by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). Another event is being organised for a Saturday in the spring.
Justin Speirs, Director of Curriculum & Quality at Somerset Skills & Learning, said: “This event has provided a fantastic opportunity to meet with the individual projects that make up the Glastonbury Town Deal, as well as other skills & training providers, so we can all work together to support the local community. One of our key strategic objectives at SSL is to change lives through learning. We need to make sure that our offer meets the needs not only of the local businesses and the local economy but the individual residents as well. We pride ourselves in working with those who are furthest away from taking up a learning opportunity, or furthest away from the employment market, engaging them and inspiring them to learn. We are here to support local residents who are currently unemployed or looking for a career change, to help them access the skills needed to support the projects that will make up the Glastonbury Town Deal.”
Hayley Fillingham, Training Coordinator at Train4All, said: “Today it’s been really good to talk to the projects and find out more about what they will need and how we can help them. It’s also been great to see the local community coming in and we’ve had some really good conversations about how we can help people get involved. As an independent training provider, we can tailor our support to the needs of the individual, so that might be enhancing the skills of people already in the construction industry, or helping young people develop skills and find traineeship programmes that could include placements working on the Town Deal projects. We’re specialists in construction and engineering skills so we’re well-placed to help the local community make the most of the Glastonbury Town Deal projects.”
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 earlier this year of comprehensive Business Cases for each project, formal confirmation of the funding was received in September 2022, securing this once-in-a-generation funding that is set to revitalise the town.
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.