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Christie Miller Sports Centre to close

CHRISTIE Miller Sports Centre is to close, with some of the leisure facilities relocated in a bid to save money whilst the new Melksham Health and Wellbeing Centre is built.

The decision to close the sports centre was made by Wiltshire Council’s cabinet last month as part of the business case for the campus.

The report states, “The centre is in an extremely poor state of repair and requires significant investment to ensure its continuity and a safe environment for its users.

“It is highly unlikely that the centre will continue to sustain the delivery of services until the new campus opens in 2021.”

It is estimated that it will cost Wiltshire Council between £30,000 – £90,000 per year over the three year transition period to close the centre and relocate some of the leisure facilities, compared to an estimated cost of £1million to keep the sports centre open for the next three years whilst the campus is built.

The closing date for Christie Miller has not been revealed and it is unclear which of the many services at the centre will be found a new home.

A Wiltshire Council spokesperson said, “Officers are currently looking at possible options in relation to Christie Miller but it’s too early to confirm anything yet.”

Other recommendations made in the campus business case that were given approval were:

• The revised scheme for the Melksham campus (within the allocated budget) that includes 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 relocation of Young Melksham from its existing location at the Canberra Centre to a new site at King George V Park – subject to a transfer of the trust agreement, so that Canberra can be released as an asset for sale.

• The relocation of the existing Melksham Lunch Club to the Riverside Centre.

According to the timeline that was presented at the Melksham Area Board meeting in October, the next stage of the campus plan will see Wiltshire Council appoint a specialist team to develop detailed designs for the health and wellbeing centre before the end of this month.

Estimated Timeline

• Appoint design team  Jan 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 Award of contract  April – June 2019

• Mobilisation period  June 2019

• Construction commences  July 2019

• 18-month build process  Until Jan 21

8 Responses to Christie Miller Sports Centre to close

  1. David Greenwood

    January 13, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    Yet again the indoor bowlers are being left out in the cold. Not only no new facilities but not even a mention.

    Indoor bowls is an all year round game other seasonal games, who’s facilities are only used for half a year and by the younger generation, have had millions spent on them whilst leaving the older members of our society out of the equation.
    Very poor show, extremely disapointing and totally unfair.

  2. M Jones

    January 13, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    Just tell us the truth,
    It seems if you are over 60 years old, and an indoor bowls member of the Christie Miller you do not count. The members of the bowls committees have worked so hard on negotiations with the Council, but once again the Council do not care a dam.

  3. Geoff Woollan

    January 13, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    There are plenty of outdoor bowling greens in the county already provided at no cost to the council. It seems that revenue cost is a problem for the council on the issue of Christie Miller but there is space for an outdoor green at the new centre. If it was converted into an indoor green using capital resources which will be freed from disposals, then perhaps the council could be creative and see, if in partnership with Bowls Wiltshire and possibly some local clubs a new indoor bowling green could be leased to a consortium of bowlers and clubs who would manage and maintain the new indoor centre. They are after all able to manage and maintain their outdoor greens and clubs. Creative Thinking Please Wiltshire Council.

  4. Alan Sims

    January 13, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    No mention of an indoor bowls facility in this Melksham Independ News article and the Mid and West Wiltshire bowlers continue to be unfairly treated by Wiltshire Council. The Christie Miller Centre has been allowed to get run down over many years with the Council showing no effort to maintain it or respect for those using it. There are five other indoor bowls centres in Wiltshire all successfully privately run, namely Clarrie Dunbar, North Wilts, Swindon Manor, Westlecot and Five Rivers. With so much emphasis placed on encouraging all ages doing all they can to keep fit, this sport is ideal for those of us that are retired, and should be encouraged. Wiltshire Council you are letting down the bowlers of Trowbridge, Melksham, Devizes, Bradford on Avon and surrounding villages.

  5. Robert Budden

    January 13, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    Just another smack in the teeth for us *Active Oldies*,
    Watching the New Marigold Hotel, we marvel at India, USA, China etc., who REVER their senior citizens, and have wonderful facilities to keep them *Young and Beautiful*.
    What do we do, Open more exciting activities for the young generation.
    Indoor Bowls is a game that is played during the winter months, and keeps us all happy, fit and with something to look forward to.

  6. Marguerite Alexander

    January 13, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    Shame on you Wiltshire Council ,indoor bowlers not given a thought or a mention you have neglected Christie Miller and its members for years ,step up and do the right thing.

  7. W gaisford

    January 14, 2018 at 8:54 am

    Government want elderly to stay mentally and physically fit and all you are providing at new health and well-being centre is Drs Surgery and seats to sit on in the market place. Shame on you

  8. Peter charters

    January 15, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    Peter Charters

    This is an appallingly short-sighted decision. At a time when the numbers of senior citizens are rising and Social Care/Care for the Elderly is getting close to the top of central government’s agenda, the County Council is taking away a facility which provides above all for this age group! It doesn’t make sense, and it will not be forgotten.

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