Housing association The Guinness Partnership has held an event to celebrate breaking ground on the second phase of its development in Pilton, Somerset.
Michael Eavis, the founder of the Glastonbury Festival, has donated part of his land to help meet local housing need.
The first phase of 19 social-rent homes at Margaret Bondfield Close was completed in 2018 and planning consent has now been granted for an additional 20 homes, which will also be for social rent.
Eavis has donated the land on condition that the homes will serve the local community in perpetuity.
The development is supported by Strategic Partnership funding from Homes England and, as well as donating the additional land, Michael Eavis has also contributed £275,000 to the scheme.
Guinness is working with the contractor EG Carter & Co Ltd who have commenced works on site.
‘Really understood what I wanted to achieve’
Michael Eavis said: “Pilton is really important to me – it’s where I was born, where I have lived man and boy, where I have brought up my family, and, of course, it has been home to the festival for more than 50 years now.
“With rural house prices so often out of reach for local people, this gives villagers, most of whom are working families who live around here, the opportunity to live here for the rest of their lives at a social rent.
“I started to build these houses 45 years ago with funding from the government, and when this scheme is finished it will bring the total number of houses available to 52.”
He added: “Of all the things I’ve done in my life this is the one I’m most proud of.
“The Guinness Partnership has really understood what I wanted to achieve and worked with us to ensure the houses fit with the style of the village.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing the houses being built, people moving in and raising a new generation to enjoy this beautiful area for years to come.”
Craig MacDonald, head of New Business at Guinness, said: “We are grateful to Mr Eavis for donating the land upon which these new homes are being built.
“This scheme is a great example of collaborative working, and we are delighted to be able to continue to provide much needed affordable housing in this rural area.”
Mathew Vye, associate director at EG Carter & Co Ltd, said: “We are delighted to be working on the second phase of this development alongside Guinness and Glastonbury Festival.
“These new homes will not only be built to the highest quality but also provide much needed homes for residents with strong connections to the village of Pilton.
“We are looking forward to working with both Guinness and Glastonbury Festivals as we continue to change people’s lives.”
The homes which include houses, bungalows and flats will be equipped with air-source heat pumps and local natural stone will be used for cladding the buildings.
They are expected to be completed and available for occupation from April 2023.
Image: Glastonbury’s Michael Eavis at The Guinness Partnership’s groundbreaking ceremony
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