Wiltshire sports facilities to be examined

Major changes in the way leisure services are delivered in Wiltshire are being proposed.

The plans include investment, new build, some to to be run by the community and closures.

Larger centres in Marlborough, Tidworth, Chippenham, and Malmesbury are likely to continue being council-run.

The plans mean that by 2025 the number of leisure centres run by Wiltshire Council will fall from 23 to 11.

The council's cabinet is to discuss the money-saving proposals next month.

'Consultation period'

Councillor Stuart Wheeler, who has responsibility for leisure, sport and culture, said when Wiltshire Council was formed just over a year ago it inherited 23 leisure facilities from the five former councils.

"These were in various states of repair and the council would be looking at a huge capital investment just to keep those existing facilities running," he said.

"We are not removing facilities from either Melksham or Trowbridge - they would only be closed when new ones are built and in operation.

"I am taking a paper to Cabinet with my proposals asking it to approve the scheme which will then go out to three months' consultation.

"Other than Salisbury Plain... we reckon that 95% of the population of Wiltshire will be within easy travelling distance of one of the major centres - the local ones will be filling in the gaps.

"We think that is a sustainable and good model," Mr Wheeler added.

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