CHIPPENHAM Borough Lands Charity has announced a delay in their plans to build a new climbing centre and skatepark in Chippenham - as bids to build it have busted the budget.

It is now working on a cost reduction programme with the two building firms which have tendered for the work.

Construction was expected to commence this summer, a year after the charity obtained planning permission to build a new centre on their land at Westmead Recreation grounds.

The plans include interior & exterior climbing walls, bouldering, changing areas and a café. Within the proposal the charity was also granted permission to build a long awaited skatepark for Chippenham together with landscaping and picnic benches.

The project was put out to tender earlier this year. The initial responses came in over budget forcing a rethink on elements of the build.

The charity will not disclose what budget it has set, but CEO Phil Tansley says the project is not being scaled down.

“We are in discussion with both bidders about the types of solutions put forward in the detail. this type of thing hasn’t been built before so we are looking at new or different ways to solve it to bring the costs down.

“If some of the costs are higher, we may need to weigh the extra costs against the value to the community, and the possibility of costs going up the longer we leave it.”

Councillor Peter Hutton chairs the Chippenham Area Board and Chippenham Youth Network.

“Obviously, its disappointing to have a delay, but I think we are all in a different place post-Covid and need to be realistic,” he said.

Alison Bailey set up the All Aboard for Chippenham Skatepark facebook page. “My boys were 8 and 10 when I started this,” she said. “They are 16 and 19 now! It will be a miracle if this ever happens and until it is there I don’t think people will believe it is happening!”

A wildlife trail and bird hides will be built on the fields and more than 1,000 willow trees will be planted to help prevent flooding.

Wiltshire Council is contributing £200,000 towards the cost. The Borough Lands say the response to last year’s consultation on the plans was hugely positive.