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A NEW-look Melksham Market Place will be created as part of the construction of the town’s new community campus, which will be built at Melksham House.
Wiltshire Council has agreed to scrap the previous plans for changing the Market Place, which were drawn up as part of the town centre enhancement scheme and new plans will be considered as the gateway to Melksham’s new £23million+ campus.
Wiltshire Council’s cabinet approved the business model for Melksham’s new campus, which included funds earmarked to redevelop the Market Place, at a meeting which took place on Tuesday 13th of December. The plans will run alongside the community campus project, to be built at Melksham House, which Wiltshire Council purchased for £250,000 late last year.
Changes to the Market Place were originally planned as the final phase in the town centre improvement scheme, an initiative undertaken by Wiltshire Council to encourage more people into Melksham. However, plans for the Market Place were put on hold following the completed phases of the rest of the redevelopment of the town centre, because Wiltshire Council said that “no budget had been assigned to the Market Place redevelopment.”
Now, Wiltshire Council has decided to amalgamate the budget for the Market Place redevelopment scheme with the new community campus, with an expected completion date of 2014.
A Wiltshire Council spokesperson said, “The new plans for the Market Place will act as a gateway to the new community campus. The budget for the campus and the Market Place redevelopment are currently commercially sensitive as the plans go out to tender.”
In the original plans which would have been part of the town centre enhancement scheme, Wiltshire Council had proposed a smaller town centre roundabout, a pedestrian area with seating and less car parking spaces. The authority will now draw up new plans to accommodate the traffic expected to visit the community campus.
Plans for sports clubs still unconfirmed
At the Wiltshire Council Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 13th of December, it was decided that the campus will accommodate a competition standard 25m swimming pool plus learner pool, four-court sports hall, multi-activity rooms, a 60-station fitness suite and changing facilities.
In addition there will be indoor bowls provision, a new library including an improved IT suite, youth facilities and meeting areas for the community.
Meetings will be held this month to consider whether Melksham Town Football Club and Melksham Rugby Club will relocate to Woolmore Farm and Dunch Lane respectively. Commercial manager of Melksham Town Football Club, Ian Forester said, "No plans have been decided yet about the future of (Melksham Town FC's home pitch) at the Conigre. We hope to know more after a meeting with Wiltshire Council, which is set to take place on Thursday 12th January."
A report that Melksham Assembly Hall will become part of the campus development is also unconfirmed, with no plans for its inclusion at present. In November, Melksham Town Council asked the director of the campus programme, Mark Stone, to investigate whether the Assembly Hall could be included within the campus building. Councillors are now awaiting his findings before considering whether to investigate the idea.