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A SECOND bid to secure the government’s flagship Levelling Up Fund to refurbish Melksham House has again been unsuccessful.
The bid to secure £5million to support renovation of the site was led by local MP, Michelle Donelan, who said she was “bitterly disappointed” not to receive the money for Melksham.
Melksham House, situated near the campus, is in the process of being renovated by Wiltshire Council, to be used as a multifunctional hub for the benefit of the local community, while maintaining the building’s cultural and historical importance.
Working with local councillors, the MP spearheaded the town’s initial bid for £5million to renovate Melksham House last year, in the first round of the Government’s Levelling Up allocation.
The bid was for Wiltshire Council to receive £14million, of which £5million would have been used for Melksham House.
When that bid was unsuccessful, Wiltshire Council agreed to fund an extra £2.8million for the Melksham project, in addition to £2million already put aside. If the second-round bid had been successful, Michelle Donelan MP and local councillors had secured an agreement with Wiltshire Council that funding already allocated to developing Melksham House, would be invested in other areas across Melksham.
The MP had conducted a survey, asking local people where the money should be spent.
Undeterred, the MP says that a third bid will be made in the next round of Levelling Up funding.
She said, “Naturally I am bitterly disappointed that my bid for funding from the Levelling Up Fund to regenerate Melksham House has not been successful. Our case was strong and led by the community and local people’s priorities. I look forward to receiving feedback from the department for Levelling Up and I will continue to work closely with Wiltshire Council and local stakeholders to re-submit our bid at the next round of the fund.
“In the meantime, Wiltshire Council are continuing at pace to refurbish and redevelop the Melksham House site and construction work is expected to be finished by this winter. I have worked with local councillors to agree that if my bid is successful at the next stage, the existing funding allocated to Melksham House will be used to regenerate other sites in our town.
“Rest assured that I will continue to push every door and bang every drum to Ministers across Government to bring more investment and opportunities into our town. I will be meeting with the Levelling Up Secretary shortly to continue to make our case to regenerate Melksham.”
In round two of the Government’s Levelling up Fund, 111 areas across the country were awarded a share of £2.1billion to support projects that create jobs and boost the economy.