A SCIENTIST charged with helping to spend millions of pounds on improving a Somerset town plans to get out and about to talk to people in the community.

Dr Michael White will join a push for more money for the Glastonbury Town Deal, which has already secured £23.6million of investment, after being elected vice-chairman of the deal board.

Glastonbury is one of 101 towns chosen to receive cash through the government’s Towns Fund scheme as part of its Levelling Up agenda.

The once-in-a-generation opportunity will help fund 11 projects developed through engagement with key partners, businesses and community groups.

READ MORE: Piazza plans approved.

Dr White's 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, an ocean and climate scientist and town councillor, said: "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.

READ MORE: Plans to make Glastonbury Abbey more fincancially viable.

"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 Dr White's appointment, Glastonbury Town Deal board chairman Dr Lynne Sedgmore 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.”