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Gary Lineker helps celebrate new affordable homes near Glastonbury Festival site

The ex-footballer and Match of the Day presenter was joined by Michael Eavis, his family, representatives of The Guinness Partnership and other special guests to celebrate the completion of a further 20 social rent homes in Pilton, Somerset.
Picture by Clint Randall

Gary Lineker planted a tree with Michael Eavis’ grandchildren at the site – named Maggie’s Farm – just around the corner from where the festival takes place. The rural homes are built on land gifted to The Guinness Partnership by Glastonbury Festival founder (and dairy farmer) Michael Eavis.

These new homes at Margaret Bondfield Close are in addition to the 13 affordable homes Guinness and EG Carter & Co Ltd completed in 2018. Mr Eavis donated the land on condition that the homes will serve the local community in perpetuity.

The homes which include houses, bungalows and flats use local natural stone for cladding the buildings, and are equipped with air source heat pumps. The 33 homes provided by Guinness are in addition to 19 homes provided by other housing providers.

The development is supported by Strategic Partnership funding from Homes England, and Guinness worked with the contractor EG Carter & Co Ltd who carried out the building works on site.

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, these houses give 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 30 years ago with funding from the government and now that this scheme is finished, it brings the total number of houses available to 52. 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 and built from Pilton stone. I’m really looking forward to seeing the houses being completed with people moving in and raising a new generation to enjoy this beautiful area for years to come.”

Kevin Williams, Group Director of Development & Commercial Services at The Guinness Partnership said: “ We are incredibly proud of our development at Maggie’s Farm and would like to thank Mr Eavis for donating the land on which these new homes have been built. These homes will provide much needed, high-quality social rent housing for local people, in this beautiful rural area.”

Josh Carter, Managing Director at Eg Carter & Co Ltd said: “We are very proud of our work here in Pilton, a very special place, and honoured to have the opportunity to contribute in making Mr Eavis’s dream and vision a reality.  We thank The Guinness Partnership for their teamwork and collaboration on this project, so fundamentally important and central to the success of such a scheme.

“Whilst we have our roots just up the road in Gloucester, working here with a local supply chain, with local people, with local natural materials; we thank you all for welcoming us into your community and allowing us to positively contribute to this special place with the construction of 20 new homes.

“We are not building houses, we are building homes, and we thank you for the support and partnership in doing so.”

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