PART of a former Somerset tannery could soon become a major hub for businesses and community groups as part of wider regeneration plans.

Glastonbury was one of 101 towns across the UK – and one of only two in Somerset – that have received funding from the government’s towns fund, with £23.6m being provided for projects designed to enhance the town centre and improve the town’s fortunes.

One of the 11 projects – whose final business cases were approved by the government in September 2022 – concerns the Red Brick Building, a former tannery within the Morland Enterprise Park at the town’s western edge.

The Red Brick Building Ltd has now submitted plans to convert the derelict ‘Building C’ in the complex into a community events space, offices and other facilities.

The Red Brick Building comprises buildings A, B and C – with planning permission being granted in 2011 to convert all three buildings into offices, light industrial units, a restaurant or café and various leisure uses.

While Buildings A and B are now occupied and fully operational, Building C was not converted at this time during to financial constraints.

Further permission to convert Building C – also known as the Life Factory – was granted in 2015, but this was also not completely implemented.

The government provided £250,000 of ‘accelerator funding’ during the coronavirus pandemic, allowing some of the initial work on the building to be carried out ahead of the full application coming forward.

Under the full proposals, the ground floor will be completely remodelled to create space for an air conditioned recording studio, the relocation of the Glastonbury FM community radio station (which is currently based in Building B) and a canteen with space for 50 diners.

Somerset County Gazette: The Glastonbury FM community radio station would relocate under the plans.The Glastonbury FM community radio station would relocate under the plans. (Image: Google Street View)

The ground floor will also include a self-contained “youth area” multi-function space, space for the ‘Mini Makers’ community arts and crafts workshops (aimed at young children), a well-being therapy centre, a shop and a community laundry for members of the ‘non bricks and mortar’ community.

The first floor will be an open place space with facilities for craft industries, including leather-making, textiles, art, sign-writing and screen printing.

Offices with hot desking will be available on the same floor, with double glazed roof lights being installed along with solar panels and new connections to the other two buildings.

A spokesman for Mott McDonald (representing the applicant) said: “This development is an opportunity to regenerate an iconic building and a long-neglected part of the town, enhancing the building’s appearance.

“It will provide a focus for the many creative and design industries in the town, enabling training to be carried out, businesses established, and jobs delivered.

“It will also address youth issues experienced by the town, including improving educational and skills attainment to reduce youth unemployment, and meet the need for gathering space for people of all ages.”

The Red Brick Building lies within walking distance of several other projects within the town deal – including the refurbishment of the Baily’s Buildings on Beckery Old Road, the improvements to St. Brigid’s Chapel, and the new Glastonbury and Enterprise Innovation Hub on Beckery Road.

Somerset Council is expected to make decisions on all of these proposals by the end of the year.

Construction on Building C is expected to take up to two years, meaning the new facility should be completely operational by early-2026.