A NEW 256-seater stadium will be built to the south of Melksham, providing a brand new home for the town’s football and rugby clubs.

The new facility at Woolmore Farm, next to Melksham Oak Community School, was approved today at Wiltshire Council’s strategic planning committee.

The 1,773sq m building will feature separate facilities for each club, with seating overlooking a pitch either side.

The facility also include 11 football pitches and four rugby pitches, along with car parking and a new access road and junction.

One side will be decorated in the yellow and dark grey of the football club, with the other matching the rugby team’s light and dark blue kit.

Football club chairman Dave Wiltshire said: “Today's outcome is a fantastic bit of news for Melksham Town FC and its 450-plus playing members, supporters, parents and committee members, all of whom have given up many hours of their free time over many months to push this project forward.

“It is also a reward to all who have supported football in whatever capacity within the town over the years, and is as much their club going forward as the current active members.

“This project will mean the town can enjoy facilities second-to-none in Wiltshire, and provides a base for football in Melksham as well as securing the future provision of football and rugby.

“Whilst it will be sad to leave The Conigre which has been the home of Melksham Town since 1926 and no doubt holds many memories for many people over the years, the facilities were run down and not conducive with running a football club on a self-funding basis.

“This opportunity is to my mind the most important event in the clubs 138-year history.”

Rugby club vice president Bruce Sanders said: “We are very much looking forward to the build programme going ahead. Everybody at the club is delighted.”

Both clubs will move to the new site from their current home at Melksham House, allowing work to start on the new community campus.

Construction is expected to start at Woolmore Farm by September.