Building has begun on a skate park in Malmesbury that has been in the pipeline for over a decade.

Town councillors, local residents and young skaters met on Saturday to celebrate the start of the new build.

The skate park will be built as a 230 square-metre extension on the hard surface at the rear of the youth centre in Gloucester Road.

There have been several attempts to find a suitable venue for a skate park, and four years ago a steering group was formed with a view to fundraise for such a facility on the Development Centre site.

Objections such as noise the park could generate caused difficulty in the process, but the idea of an indoor multi-use space finally won a 21-year temporary permission.

More than £100,000 has been granted by Malmesbury Area Board for the project, which has been added to £60,000 raised by skaters and supporters.

Mayor Ray Sanderson was one of about 20 people who went to the building site on Saturday. He said: “It was the official groundbreaking exercise.

“Coun John Thomson was there representing Wiltshire Council, I was representing the town council, my wife was there, Sue Alexander, who instigated the project 16 years ago, was there too – it was a great day for her.

“The young people are absolutely over the moon.”

Coun Thomson, who is also chairman of Malmesbury Area Board, said: “I’m delighted that after 12 and a half years of being personally involved in this project we are now able to deliver this new facility for the young people of Malmesbury and the surrounding area.

“This is great for all those who worked so hard to make this project a reality.”

Calne-based Wilkins Builders Ltd aims to complete the work by June.

A spokesman for the company said: “Wilkins Builders Ltd have successfully commenced work on the long- anticipated new skate park in Malmesbury.

“Wilkins Builders Ltd are delighted to be working with Wiltshire Council and Youth Development to create a fantastic new facility for the residents of Malmesbury.”