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Working towards a new future for Chippenham site as Good Energy changes plans

Employment use for a site in Sadler's Mead now available

Published 17 August 2020

Wiltshire Council and the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) are working to find another important employment use for a site at Sadlers Mead, Chippenham, after local company Good Energy withdrew from the scheme.

Changes to the financial landscape caused by COVID-19, and the rise in homeworking, have both contributed to the decision, which will see Good Energy expand into another floor at the council's Monkton Park offices, and also repay fees that the council has spent on designing the building.

Cllr Philip Whitehead, Leader of Wiltshire Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: "Of course, we're disappointed that Good Energy has chosen not to progress with this scheme, but we're pleased that the company is committed to keeping jobs in Chippenham.

"This site, which has great links to London due to its proximity to the station, remains an important strategic development area for the council, and we're working closely with SWLEP to explore new and exciting employment opportunities.

"We have worked closely with Good Energy throughout, and we will continue with this positive working relationship as they move into an extra floor in our Monkton Park offices."

Fran Woodward, People and Customer Operations Director, Good Energy, said: "While this wasn't an easy decision for us to make, as the UK faces economic uncertainty following COVID-19, we need to ensure we're making the right investments for our future. Our entire workforce has been working from home effectively and productively. In this context, as a business that takes its environmental impact extremely seriously we have had to rethink our office workspace and how we can take a more digital and less carbon intensive approach going forward, which will involve more remote and flexible working.

"We thank the team at Wiltshire Council for the support and understanding they have shown."

Paddy Bradley, SWLEP CEO, said of the news: "Although it's disappointing the current economic conditions mean Good Energy will not be moving forward with this project, the development remains a strategic priority for the area.

"Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership continues to work with Wiltshire Council to explore other opportunities for the use of the site. Chippenham, with its strong connectivity, is well-placed to benefit from a development of this site."

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