About Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce
Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce was formed in 2016. Whilst there had been Chambers in the past, these had not been active for a few years. The decision to establish a Chamber again was instigated by the decision of all of the town’s High Street Banks to close their branches in 2015. This drew several businesses together to create a campaign to ensure that the town retained access to Banking services.
The most visible result of this campaign was the opening of a branch of the Nationwide Building Society in town. The campaign also drew the media’s attention to Glastonbury, the town, and the realisation that it is not just the name of a Festival held in a muddy field every June. Although it is a long time since the last Bank closed, Glastonbury, the town, is still getting featured in the national media as a place for a weekend break, as it is a very special place.
The other achievement of the campaign is that it drew out just how much local businesses care about the town; how, when they are united in a common cause, so much can be achieved. The formation of the Chamber of Commerce came from this desire.
Since its foundation, Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce has grown rapidly to become one of the largest in Mendip. In 2019 the Chamber was renamed ‘Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce and Tourism’ to reflect the importance of visitor-related businesses to the area.
The Chamber works closely with the other attractions of the town: Glastonbury Abbey; the Rural Life Museum; the Chalice Well; the National Trust (who look after Glastonbury Tor) and the Avalon Marshes Centre. It contributes to local promotion initiatives including a Glastonbury Business map – a free map for the town highlighting local businesses, accommodation, restaurants, pubs and cafes, and sponsorship of Glastonbury High Street entry into the 2019 Somerset Arts week and Mural trail.
Other recent initiatives include the annual tourism symposium which was introduced in 2016 with the support of the Town Council. This is an annual event that happens in March to showcase the attractions and events of Glastonbury. Industry speakers are invited and in 2020 there will be workshops.
The Chamber are also introducing Late night shopping events on Glastonbury High Street. The first will take place on 2nd August from 6pm-9pm. More will take place throughout the year.
With its large membership from various industrial sectors, the Chamber is rightly called “The Voice of Business”. We are the first port of call for organisations and the media seeking the opinion on what the Glastonbury business community thinks. The Chamber website has had an update for 2019 and contains a directory of all member businesses, so don’t forget to add your details, the directory is free to join for members.
As our Chamber is an affiliate of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce and one of the Accredited Chambers that form the British Chambers of Commerce, membership means that networking opportunities are opened up around Somerset and the wider UK business community.
The Chamber is also a conduit for funding for businesses, particularly start-ups and those with training needs. Membership fees for Chamber are kept low, as this should not be a barrier for membership. Members get discounts on some events, and also on purchases from some fellow members. These benefits can easily exceed the annual membership fee
The Chamber has regular meetings, where members meet and discuss the local issues, and receive presentations on subjects that are likely to affect the town and their businesses.
We hope that being a member of Glastonbury Chamber is an informative, rewarding and sociable experience.