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MELKSHAM’S Health and Wellbeing Centre is expected to open in January 2021, according to plans revealed by Wiltshire Council last week.
The facilities include a swimming pool, fitness suite, library/community hub, sports hall, squash courts, a GP surgery, outdoor bowls, a cricket pitch, tennis court and a café, and office accommodation.
The plans now also include a residential development that will help to fund the new centre.
The plans were unveiled at the Melksham Area Board meeting on Wednesday 18th October at the United Church. A packed crowd listened to a presentation from John Thomson, Wiltshire Council deputy leader and cabinet member for campuses; Laurie Bell, Wiltshire Council’s director for communities; and Melksham councillor Jon Hubbard.
Whilst the news was met with some disappointment due to the changes to the original plan from 2013 and the length of time it will take, member of the area board, cllr Jon Hubbard encouraged the audience to look to the future.
“This is a massive investment for our community,” he said. “When we get this, we will be the envy of most other towns in Wiltshire. While we haven’t got everything we want, we’ve got a hell of a lot more than we could’ve hoped for.”
As well as the new residential development on the site, money will also be raised for the campus through the sale of local assets such as the town’s existing library, the Christie Miller site and the Canberra Youth Centre building, and through borrowing. A business case outlining all the details of the project and its financing will be considered by the council’s cabinet in December.
John Thomson from Wiltshire Council said, “We know people are extremely keen for the campus to be in place as quickly as possible, but this is an extremely complex project with many elements and we have taken the time that was needed to make sure that we deliver the right facilities for the town.
“We have already invested a significant amount of money in Melksham, with great success, and what we’re proposing in this final phase will deliver excellent local facilities.
“We are finalising the work required and we’re determined to start delivery on a campus that the whole community area can be proud of.”
Melksham House site –
• 25 metre, 6 lane swimming pool
• Learner pool
• Fitness suite – 75 stations
• Studio – dance and fitness
• Sports hall x 6 court
• Library / community hub – based on
successful Calne model
• Squash courts x 2
• Tennis courts x 4
• Multi Use Games Area (for netball,
basketball, walking football etc).
• Outdoor bowls
• Cricket facilities
• Melksham Without Parish Council
• GP surgery
Melksham campus – other facilities
• Provision of land for new youth
centre at King George V Park
(subject to transfer of trust) – working
with Young Melksham to enable them
to deliver replacement centre
• Provision of land for indoor bowls
facility + pump prime match funding
• Tennis courts x 4 – early provision
along with cricket
The council continues to face financial pressures – service demands and
continued grant reduction
• This year (2017/18) – £13.3 million
• Next year (2018/19) – £25 million
• Next 3 years – total £45 million
Campus programme delivery was based on sale of assets + borrowing – no capital pot. Pay back was based on reducing maintenance backlog and running costs and releasing number of assets.
£6.4 million allocated this budget year.
Capital and revenue business case required for all future campus projects based on sustainable facilities and reduced/diminishing subsidy in the future.
Melksham House site
Business case requires mixed use of the site to include residential development to assist funding of new centre.
Plus – the disposal of the following assets:
• Library • Christie Miller Site
• Canberra Youth Centre
Total investment for Melksham House site plus facilities delivered will exceed £23 million.
To note: Christie Miller centre in state of disrepair and ongoing maintenance
required to keep centre operational.
• Business case to Wiltshire Council cabinet – December 2017.
• Pre-consultation with planners underway.
• Finalise site layout and centre design.
• Planning application submission and public consultation.
• Regular area board updates throughout the programme delivery.
Business case Nov – Dec 2017.
Approval – Dec 2017 Jan 2018
Appoint design team Jan – Feb 2018
Final design concept Feb – April 2018
Cost plan 1 March – April 2018
Update surveys Feb – Jun 2018
Developed design and
Planning information April – July 2018
Cost plan 2 June – July 2018
Wiltshire review scheme:
Final sign-off June – July 2018
Planning July 2018 – Jan 2019
OJEU process tender
Main contractor Oct 2018 – April 2019
Review and main
Award of contract April – June 2019
Mobilisation period June 2019
Construction commences July 2019
18-month build process Until Jan 21