Exciting future for Chippenham as major project moves forward

Conservative led Wiltshire Council has worked closely with Chippenham based company Good Energy, a major employer in the town, which is progressing plans for a new headquarters following a successful joint planning application for the Sadlers Mead car park site next to the Olympiad.

Good Energy's new offices, currently in design development, will include cycle parking, solar panels and battery storage, with 40 parking spaces including chargers for electric vehicles, at ground level.

At a cabinet meeting on 8 October council leaders agreed to take a more direct role by acting as developer for the Good Energy offices, subject to the scrutiny of the due diligence process.  

If the move goes ahead the development of the commercial property, which will then be leased to Good Energy, will mean the council can generate additional revenue to support front line services in the longer term.

The council currently owns Sadlers Mead Car Park where the 25,000 sq ft office and multi storey car park will be built. The separate public car park will be built and managed by Wiltshire Council for 237 car spaces, three coach spaces and six motorcycle spaces. There will also be 12 electric car charging points installed initially, with infrastructure for future points.

Both schemes are part of a wider masterplan for Chippenham which includes redevelopment around Chippenham railway station and opportunities for housing, offices and shops.

The Sadlers Mead development is Phase 2 of the masterplan which included improvements to the railway station building in Phase 1. The project is supported by the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership and grant funding has been approved for the development through the Local Growth Fund.

Toby Sturgis, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Development Management and Property, said: "Chippenham is already on the map as a great place to live and work. We want to build on that reputation and maximise the opportunities to do great things here. Good Energy is an innovative and valued business for Wiltshire's economy and as a council which actively engages to boost the local economy we are considering investment in this development once due diligence has been undertaken.

"We have an exciting vision for the town and securing the future of one of our largest employers and ensuring sufficient parking which is future proofed for electric vehicles, is an important part of the way forward."

Françoise Woodward, Director of People and Culture, Good Energy, said: "We are proud to call Chippenham our home and look forward to working even more closely with Wiltshire Council in the development of our new headquarters. The sustainably built office will support our commitment to sustainable growth in Chippenham into the future." 

Paddy Bradley Director of the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) said:

"Chippenham is strategically important in the growth of the thriving economy of Swindon and Wiltshire, located in two of the three growth zones we have identified for investment through our Strategic Economic Plan. This development shows our commitment to supporting businesses such as Good Energy to grow, invest and innovate in our area."

The works include a Section 106 agreement to contribute £125,000 towards installing traffic signals on New Road/Station Hill junction.

An index linked financial contribution of £70,000 to upgrade the existing Monkton Park path to link to a shared cycle/pedestrian path has also been agreed.