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Funding agreed to refurbish Melksham House

Will be turned into a flexible workspace

Published 14 December 2021

Wiltshire Council's cabinet has today (14 December) agreed to refurbish Melksham House into a flexible workspace and a multi-purpose area for the community funded by the existing budget.  

The council had previously budgeted for the works to secure the future of the site as part of a planning condition for the campus project.

The council's Cabinet has agreed to release £2.8m funding, to go towards the £2m already in place, to refurbish and redevelop the Melksham House site as well as demolish the Blue Pool.

The refurbishment work will provide flexible office and meeting room spaces, and the community hall at the rear of the building will be restored to create activity spaces. The improvements will include modern sustainable technologies such as LED lighting, air source heat pumps and photovoltaics.

A scheme for the redevelopment of the Melksham House was given planning consent in October this year.

To look at the town in a more strategic way, and ensure its assets fully realise their potential, the council has also agreed to establish a Place Board. With sites such as the Blue Pool and the library no longer being required when the campus opens, the board's role will be to ensure that best use is made of publicly-owned assets for the benefit the town. A portion of the funding will also go towards demolishing the Blue Pool building when Melksham Community Campus opens next year. The future of the site itself is not known at this stage, but more opportunities and options will be available to the council if the building is demolished.

Cllr Phil Alford, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Cabinet Member for Housing, Strategic Assets and Asset Transfer, said: I'm pleased that we've managed to confirm the route forward for Melksham House, as that will provide a solid foundation for us to strategically plan and ensure our vision for the town can become a reality. Flexible work space in the heart of the town, next to a bustling community campus, will be an attractive proposition for businesses.

Looking at the bigger picture for Melksham, we will work collaboratively with partners and ensure decisions about the future of the key publicly owned sites in the town are not made in isolation, and that that they are in the absolute best interests of the local community.

Reports associated with today's cabinet meeting can be found at 14 December 2021 Cabinet agenda and reports (opens new window).

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