Rumours that the Melksham Campus was to be scrapped have been quoted by Wiltshire Council who have agreed to continue the project on a revised timeline due to the impact of COVID-19.
The campus project was one of the council’s capital projects that was recently deferred to 2021/22, allowing the council to align its resources to supporting Wiltshire’s communities recover from the ongoing pandemic.
Preparatory work will now be completed this year. This will enable construction work to start on-site in early 2021. Originally it was hoped that construction work could begin on-site this summer.
Local councillor Jon Hubbard commented, "Whilst I am bitterly disappointed that this is yet another delay to the Campus project I am very pleased that the council have confirmed that it will be going ahead and that the rumours that it would be scrapped have been proved to be untrue.
"The financial impact of Covid-19 has been unprecedented and it is fantastic that the council have made the positive decision to continue with this project and delivery, albeit 8 years late (and counting) for our town.
"I will be writing to the the cabinet member asking what the situation with the Blue Pool is to get absolute confirmation that the pool will remain open until the new facility is up and running."
Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling, Cabinet Member for Leisure, said: “We’re obviously disappointed that we can’t proceed as originally planned, particularly after the fantastic progress the project has made in the last year.
“However, the most important thing is that this revised timeline will help ensure we can still provide the campus and that’s something we are fully committed to doing.
“We know what a positive impact the campus will have on the health and wellbeing of people as well as the local economy, and we’re determined to see our long-held vision come to fruition.
“While we understand there will be some disappointment from Melksham communities, these are unprecedented times and as a council we have to adapt to help ensure those who need it most are getting the help and support they need.”
Regular updates on Melksham Community Campus will be posted at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/community-environment-melksham-community-campus