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Agenda item

Melksham Community Campus

Wiltshire Council, Deputy Leader John Thomson to provide an update on the Melksham Community Campus. Community Campus.


John Thomson - Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities, Campuses, Area Boards and Broadband gave the Campus update.


Points made included:


The Budget


      That £15.2m had been allocated for the new centre.


      That this budget included £150k funding support for indoor bowls future facility, MUGA and four new tennis courts.


      Working with the design team and QS to refine and finalise detail and specifications.


      That the project had to be delivered on budget.



New centre facilities


      Atrium and café

      6 Lane 25-meter pool with accompanying learner pool

      Wet and accessible change

      6 Court Sports Hall

      Dry change facilities

      Fitness suite – 75 stations

      Fitness studio


      Office accommodation (third party)

      Small meeting room

      Multi Use Games Area (MUGA)

      4 x tennis courts

      GP Surgery – stand alone

      Investment in Outdoor Bowls



Community campus delivery timeframe


      Planning application submission and public consultation – end of 2018


      Finalise site layout and centre design


      Procure contractor and appoint


      Development work starts - autumn 2019


      Completion of centre - end 2020


      New centre opening - early 2021






Canberra Update


      The Canberra site was declared surplus as part of the campus programme.


      Much of the land is held in trust. Our obligations under the trust mean that it is not viable to sell all of the site.


      The Youth Centre – This will not be sold. We are working with Young Melksham to extend their lease.


      The Children’s Centre – The Children's Centre will continue with their current lease.


      Options for the land outside the trust will be considered, including a declaration to give permission to dispose of surplus land.



Christie Miller Sports Centre – update


      That the centre had been operated by Places for People on behalf of the council.


      That Wiltshire Council had always stated that there would be no further investment in this building.


      Any cost would be met from new campus budget.


      That the building had been kept functioning for as long as possible.


      Recent 5 year fixed wire testing highlighted had raised concerns, risks and urgent need for work.


      The cost of work required was prohibitive – with the need to address asbestos and water ingress in roof.


      That Wiltshire Council had to ensure staff and user safety and provide best value for the taxpayer.



Christie Miller Sports Centre – Options


      The cost of the works required to complete investigations and rectify all outstanding issues - £1m.


      That the re-provision of facilities was given due consideration.


      That the cost of re-providing Studio and Fitness Suite- £300,000. This would not have included any other provision.


      The above options would have had to be funded from the campus budget. If this money had been spent the campus would no longer be viable.


Christie Miller Sports Centre – closure process


      That there was no option but to close Christie Miller Sports Centre.


      That the centre would close on Friday, 19 October 2018.


      Wiltshire Council were working with Places for People to inform staff and customers.


      Staff are being informed this evening – Wednesday 5 September 2018.


      Most staff would be accommodated at other sites.


      Memberships would be transferred to Melksham Blue Pool as host site plus adult premium members could use facilities at Wiltshire Council sites.


      That Wiltshire Council would look to re-locate clubs to other centres wherever possible.


      That Wiltshire Council would continue support the re-location of the Indoor Bowls Club, with an allocated £150k capital pledged towards a facility.




Would there be residential on the site?



Would the Assembly Hall be closing?

a.That there were no plans to close the Assembly Hall and that this would be a Town Council decision.


What would happen to the public footpath that ran through the Melksham House site during the build?

a.The footpath would likely remain, it may however have to be re-routed during the build. Rhys Schell advised that he would find out an answer and come back to the resident as soon as possible.


Would established trees be protected wherever possible?

a.Yes, and extra trees would be planted.


Would there be squash courts?



Can you not extend the life of Christie Miller?

a.No, money spent on the up-keep of Christie Miller was money that cannot be used to fund the campus build.


Would the GP Surgery staff use the campus car parking spaces?

a.No, they would have their own allocated car parking.


Would the campus car parking be free?

a.It would be free to the leisure centre users.


Had the £150,000 been ring fenced by Wiltshire Council for the Indoor Bowls club?

a.The £150,000 would eventually go back into the campus kitty if the Indoor Bowls club didn’t take up the offer from Wiltshire Council.


With Christie Miller closing during October 2018 and the new campus leisure offering now not being operational until sometime in 2021, there would be a gap in leisure provision in Melksham.

a.Wiltshire Council would work with affected groups to try and relocate them until the campus opens.


Will access to the campus only be through the Market Place?



How many houses would form the residential part of the site?

a.As Melksham House was a listed building. It was likely that the residential offering would be sheltered housing, however, this is all to be confirmed.


Would there be two way traffic in and out of the campus?

a.Yes, the entrance would be made wider as part of the build.


The Chairman thanked Cllr John Thomson for his update

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