RESIDENTS in Melksham queued before 10am yesterday morning for the opening of the town’s new £20.1 million community campus, complete with swimming pool, fitness gyms and a new public library.

An 11-year wait for the new facilities finally came to an end as local children Finley, Erin, Murdoch, Corin and Echer joined councillor Ian Blair-Pilling, Wiltshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Libraries, to cut a ribbon and declare the campus officially open.

The new Community Campus opened on budget offering a variety of leisure, library and community services to residents eager to get in and access the new facilities.

Belinda Taylor, 56, from Melksham, said: “I’m very excited. I can’t wait. I’m going to try both the pool and the gym.

“I like to keep fit. Fortunately, it’s handy that the opening is on the same day as my day off. It’s nice to see some new and fresh facilities in the town.”

The doors opened at 10am, with residents and families in attendance and keen to see the new campus for themselves and try out the facilities. The campus is “within spitting” distance of the Market Place and Melksham town centre.

On display were some vibrant aquatic-themed pictures, coloured in by local schoolchildren as part of a recent competition that saw two youngsters win a month’s free swim at the campus. There was also another competition for people to enter on the opening day with a month’s free membership on offer.

The campus has been constructed by Dutch contractors Pellikaan Construction Ltd supported with a grant from Sport England.

It offers a wide range of facilities and services under one roof, including a gym with 70 fitness stations; an immersive static cycle suite, and a fitness/dance studio.

It also boasts a 25-metre swimming pool and separate learner pool; a nine-metre high sports hall; a new public library and a community meeting space.

Melksham Without Parish Council is also relocating its offices to the campus from its old base at Bowerhill.

The council is working with Melksham Town Council on future plans for the old Melksham Library and Melksham Blue Pool sites to make best use of these assets for the town. No decisions have yet been made.

Cllr Blair-Pilling said the Community Campus is a key milestone in the overall strategy for Melksham, which has seen significant investment by Wiltshire Council in recent years.