Building work is set to start to develop nearly £7m worth of new facilities for both Melksham football and rugby clubs, as part of Wiltshire Council’s project to deliver a community campus in the town.
Plans to develop Melksham Community Campus will see the football and rugby clubs, which are currently based on the Melksham House site, move to a new site at Woolmore Farm.
The contracts to carry out the work have been awarded, with Beard due to construct the new clubhouse and Kestrel carrying out the ground modelling.
Both clubs will continue to play at their existing site next season and move to the new facilities for the start of the 2016/17 season. Work will then start on the community campus at Melksham House, with completion expected in late 2017.
John Thomson, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for campuses, said: “This is a significant step forward for this campus project and I’m delighted we’ve reached this stage.
“Both of these clubs are right at the heart of the community and these new facilities will help ensure they enjoy a bright future.
“Delivering a campus is a real partnership effort and the amount of planning and hard work that goes into its development cannot be underestimated.
“I can assure people that when the campus is in place it will be well worth the wait and it will provide facilities that can be enjoyed for many years by the entire local area.”
Chairman of the Melksham Community Operations Board (COB), Roy While said: “The COB are pleased that at last the exciting rugby and football development is starting. A tremendous boost for sport in our community. This now enables the COB team to work with officers and Area Board members to complete the preparatory work for a start on the campus next year.”
Pat Holtom, chairman of Melksham RFC said: “With the move to Woolmore Farm and the facilities that we are going to have at the new ground, it will assist the club in growing and developing the youth section which in turn should lead to more players for the senior teams. This will also give us a great opportunity to grow the girls section and hopefully within a year of moving having our first ladies team”.
“ Woolmore farm will be a great asset to the town, offering top facilities for both the rugby and football club ensuring the continued growth of both clubs, who will be able to offer opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to participate in fields sports.”
Dave Wiltshire, chairman of Melksham Town Football Club said: “I am delighted to hear the news that work will start immanently on our brand new facilities at the Woolmore Farm site. After at least four years of negotiating and various planning issues it’s fantastic that we will see our new facility be ready for the 2016 – 2017 season. I would like convey my sincere thanks to the council for believing and backing our project and to deliver something very special that will benefit the whole of our community for years to come.
“Many thanks must also go the Football Foundation for not only their financial support but also backing and assisting us with this project. This new state of the art facility will be the envy of most clubs (at our level) nationwide and it will enhance the further progression of our club. With over 500 playing members from the ages 5-40 this new facility will provide them with a magnificent footballing home and something that they will and should be very proud of.”
Wiltshire Council is investing nearly £80 million in local communities to provide improved facilities and services across the county.