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Campus puts brakes on Assembly Hall redevelopment plans

MELKSHAM Town Council’s project to explore the possibility of re-designing the existing Assembly Hall building has been put on hold because of the campus project.

Last year, the town council launched a feasibility study inviting the community to share their ideas on how the Assembly Hall could be improved to increase enjoyment of the town’s asset. 

Some of the ideas suggested for the hall’s future by residents at a public meeting in December 2017 included more natural lighting in the foyer and the hall; a new family area with play equipment; a new stage, retractable seating and a balcony area.

However, town mayor, cllr Adrienne Westbrook has said that the project can’t move forward until the Blue Pool building is demolished. This will be the final stage of the campus project after the new leisure facilities have been completed, currently estimated for early 2021.

“We can’t do anything with the Assembly Hall until the Blue Pool closes and is demolished,” cllr Westbrook told Melksham News, “and if on time, that won’t happen until 2021.”

Potential money that could have been used for the Assembly Hall project, in earmarked reserves labelled ‘renovation works’ totalling £324,000, has now been reallocated for a funding pot for the council’s project to improve King George V playing field.

Cllr Westbrook said, “We could be sitting on a huge amount of money, whilst other projects like the splash pad need doing. 

“So until we know more about the timescale to demolish the Blue Pool, the project to redevelop the Assembly Hall is on hold. 

“It is prudent to use the money for the splash pad now – we can rebuild the pot of money for the Assembly Hall.” 

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