THE next phase of the £23 million Melksham Campus project has moved a massive step forward after Wiltshire Council granted planning permission to construct the main building.

Wiltshire Council will now look to appoint a lead contractor so that work can begin at the Melksham House site in 2020. The campus is expected to be complete by 2021.

The report was heard at today’s (Wednesday, November 13) Strategic Planning Committee and was unanimously given the green light by councillors.

Cllr Allison Bucknell, cabinet member for communities and leisure, said: “I’m absolutely delighted we have now reached this crucial stage. This has been a long complex project but getting permission to construct will now allow for our vision to become a reality.

“Despite the complexities and setbacks along the way, we never lost sight of our aim to provide a facility that the entire community can use and be proud of.

“I look forward to seeing spades in the ground next year and I thank our team for working so hard behind the scenes to get us here.

“We are also committed to seeing Melksham House being brought back into use for the benefit of the community and we’ll have more details on that early next year.

“I would like to thank to the community for working with us, and pay tribute to our amazing officers who are putting so much time and effort into providing this state-of-the-art facility.”

The planning application was initially submitted in March but was subsequently changed and re-submitted in August following feedback from the public.

In October, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet agreed to fund an additional £3 million for the project to ensure that the campus can provide as many services as possible for the community. This is subject to final approval at full council on November 26.

The designs for the modern Melksham Community Campus include a six-lane swimming pool and a learner pool, fitness suite, dance studio, library and community hub, sports hall, a café and office space.

This will be in addition to the cricket pitch and outdoor bowls. Two new tennis courts were provided earlier this summer.

A report will go forward to a Wiltshire Council cabinet meeting next year outlining a detailed business case for the future of Melksham House.

Regular updates on Melksham Community Campus can be found at