Spades go in the ground this week for Chippenham’s long awaited climbing centre and skate park.

Melksham-based Rigg Construction is to build the new Westmead Activity Centre after winning a competitive tendering process.

The £2.7 million project includes interior and exterior climbing walls, boulders, changing areas and indoor and outdoor café areas. The whole plan includes a new skatepark, landscaping and picnic benches.

Jon Price, the firm’s director, said, “We look forward to bringing the years of planning and hard work to life and ultimately provide a fantastic new facility for the community”.

Chippenham Borough Lands Charity won planning permission in August last year. Chairman of trustees Don Steele said: “It’s taken us longer than we wanted to get to this point, but nobody could have foreseen this year’s pandemic.

“We took the opportunity to revisit some of the project costs, without losing any of the essential quality of the design, and are looking forward to working with Rigg to turn our vision into reality.”

The climbing centre project is being funded by the charity with support from Sport England which has given a grant of £100,000 towards the facility.

Rob Elkin of Elkins architects said: “I’m personally delighted that after five years of design evolution and true consultation this facility will finally break ground and bring with it a leading sports facility for our town. I used to skate (badly) in the old park so I can’t wait to bruise myself again with my son in the new one.”

The skate park has been designed by Bristol Skatepark design specialists, Canvas, who have produced a bespoke design in consultation with a local skater’s user group.

It is estimated that the project will take approximately 45 weeks to complete, with facilities open to the public by early 2022.