While the weather has been far from cheery this past week, we’ve seen plenty of smiles around town when our councillors awarded a ‘Finalist’ window sticker to each of the finalists in our Shepton Innovator Business Awards. This was the first time we had organised such an event and we put it together fairly quickly as soon as the announcement was made that Mendip District Council would not be running their business awards this year. The nominations we received were a fine testimony to the brilliant businesses based in Shepton Mallet and the surrounding parishes. We’ll have to wait until the 2nd of September now to find out who our winners are!

It’s not just our businesses that deserve our support though, there are some incredible community groups, organisations and charities based locally. Every year, the town council awards up to £10K in donations to these groups to help them with their work serving our community. The deadline for any group to apply for a donation of up to £2K is the 1st of September and we strongly encourage anyone interested to contact us to find out more about applying. There’s no downward limit to a funding request and we consider ‘start-up’ organisations in their early stages as well as more established groups who have been running for years. Don’t be shy and do get in touch!

One such group who recently applied for town council funding was the 7 Starlings Group, who are running the twice-weekly ‘Book Roost’ from the market cross. Every Monday and Thursday from 2pm to 4pm throughout the summer, the group are offering free books for children from donations they receive and ‘roost’ for safety for 72 hours. Do pay them a visit while they are still there.

Speaking of books, we are expecting to get an update this week from Somerset County Council on the works to the library. As expected, lockdown threw quite a spanner in the works and has delayed the process. However, we have been assured that progress is now being made and we hope to have news to share in the coming weeks and months. As a reminder, the town council agreed to spend £15K a year over 5 years as part of an agreement to see the library remain in its current location on market square and become a community and library hub. We’re now keen to see this project get off the ground and look forward to seeing the outcome.

Stay safe, stay dry and enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend if you’re lucky enough to not be working!

Shepton Mallet Town Council