Furniture manufacturer Herman Miller says its new Melksham headquarters will be completed within a year, providing 200 new jobs.

Work started last week on the firm’s new 170,000sqft premises on the former council-owned running track in Bowerhill following a ceremonial turf-cutting.

The company is combining its Bath-based manufacturing hub and its Chippenham distribution centre at the new site, with scope for future expansion.

Project manager Dave Tyrer said: “We want to start construction in about four to five weeks’ time, then the expectation is the building will be complete by the end of June, ready for us to begin moving in.

“This is a step up. We will have a bit more space and hope to expand our operation as we will also have our research and development based there.”

Planning permission was approved for the site last year, but initial work was delayed while a colony of great-crested newts were rehomed.

The redevelopment of the site will include the extension of Portal Road, which will link the Bowerhill Industrial Estate to the A350.

The firm will also provide a new pavilion for AFC Melksham, which currently sits in the way of the proposed development.

Mr Tyrer said: “Part of our planning permission is to link up the two roundabouts, so the sports arena has to be replaced. We have to have all of that completed not long after we are operational.

“The whole industrial estate will be revitalised.”

The club recently started a youth disabled football team, which will benefit from the new accessible facilities and extra changing rooms. Chairman Mike Rogers said: “We want them to get our pavilion moved, both for ourselves and for the kids who use it.

“We are all anxious to get something where we can go into the 21st century, from the 17th.

It’s an established club now, they won the Wiltshire and Dorset tournament last week, and we get 50-odd parents come along, there is a real community spirit down there.”