Work begins on new £8.4m health and wellbeing centre for Pewsey
"Work to create a health and wellbeing centre for the Pewsey area is now underway" - this is part of Wiltshire Council's multi-million pound development programme for campuses or community hubs which concentrate services into one area in a town.
This news item from Wiltshire Council comes four days before their use and stewardship of Marlborough's youth centre finally ends (after it is used as a polling station.)
It will then be leased to the town council who will take on the responsibility of turning it into a community centre - with no financial help from Wiltshire's campus/hub programme. Ownership may eventually be passed to the town council in a 'community asset transfer' from Wiltshire Council.
Pewsey's Vale Health and Wellbeing Centre, which is due to open in summer 2018, will house a brand new four lane 25 metre swimming pool as well as a fitness suite, café, community space and other leisure facilities.
An indoor skate park where people can skateboard, scoot and BMX, and which complements the existing multi-use games area, will also be provided. The library, which is a short distance from the new centre, also provides community meeting space and a changing places facility for those with highly complex needs.
John Thomson, cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing centres, said: “The local community has been key in making this new centre a reality and I’m very grateful for their involvement in the design to ensure that when the centre opens for business next year, it will reflect the needs of the local community."
"I am confident that this major investment will deliver a centre that will be extremely well used by local residents and will encourage more people to get active and get involved in community events, clubs and activities. We have seen a huge increase in usage and participation in other new health and wellbeing centres in Corsham, Tisbury and Salisbury.”
Whilst we applaud and welcome such investment into Pewsey, Marlborough.news has spent quite a lot effort trying to find out how the decision by Wiltshire Council to spend these large sums of money in certain towns and not others was made. We were finally told there was no such process. From this we must assume the decisions were made in private.
Canvassing views as to why Marlborough has been left out of this programme of investment financed out of council tax receipts, we have heard a number of possible reasons:
- Marlborough did not ask early enough to be part of the scheme
- it is assumed in Trowbridge that Marlborough has use of College facilities so the Council need take no action
- Marlborough is true blue and so does not need to have money spent on it
- Marlborough is too far from Trowbridge to matter
- Marlborough's population is so old it does not need fitness facilities.
When Marlborough did spend time and effort putting together a plan, they were told that the money had run out.