Housing

Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis donates land for social housing

Eavis is doing his bit to tackle the housing crisis by donating land to build 20 social rent homes near the famous Glastonbury Festival grounds.

Glastonbury Festival

Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis puts his shovel in the ground to start work on the site last week. Image: Glastonbury Festival

Pitching a tent might be the most recognisable housing around Glastonbury when the world-famous festival kicks off, but founder Michael Eavis has something more permanent in mind in the shape of social housing.

Eavis has gifted land to housing association The Guinness Partnership to build 20 homes in Pilton, Somerset, just a mile and a half from Worthy Farm where music’s most prestigious acts thrill thousands of festivalgoers on the Pyramid Stage.

“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,” said Eavis. 

“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.”

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The 20 homes are the latest in Eavis’s efforts to boost the number of affordable houses available around the 900 acres of farmland he owns, taking the tally of homes he has built to 52.

The first phase of the project was completed in 2018 when 19 homes were built at Margaret Bondfield Close.

Eavis has now donated more land on the condition that it will be used to build homes to serve the local community in perpetuity.

The latest development will include houses, bungalows and flats equipped with air source heat pumps and built using local natural stone as cladding. The project is expected to be completed next year with residents set to move in from April 2023.

“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,” added the Glastonbury Festival founder. Of all the things I’ve done in my life this is the one I’m most proud of. 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.”

As well as donating the land, Eavis has also contributed £275,000 to the development which is also being funded using Strategic Partnership funding from Homes England’s Affordable Homes Programme.

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.”

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