Work on the newly-named Stanley Park, Chippenham's flagship playing fields project, is due to start on August 4, despite a shortfall of some £350,000.

But the town council is confident it can amend plans to keep the project on track. Its leader Sandie Webb is keen to hear from other sporting groups in the town for ideas and support to make the facility an all year round venue for all sorts of sports.

"We want the playing fields used in summer time as well as winter, 52 weeks a year," she said.

At a special meeting of the council's strategy and resources committee last week, members endorsed a report by tender consultants Michael Edwards and Associates, from Chippenham.

Invitations to tender were issued on April 30 to four specialist playing field contractors to carry out the conversion of the farmland at Wedmore Farm, between Stanley Lane and the A4.

The work included building an access road off Stanley Lane, on site access roads, irrigation and car parking and construction of football pitches.

Members decided to take on separate contractors to carry out the roadworks and the sports fields conversion to cut costs but the total cost of £2,228,000 leaves a shortfall of nearly £350,000.

The contract for the playing fields work is to go to White Horse Contractors Ltd and the contract for the roadworks and car park has been awarded to the Mealing Group, it was agreed.

The town council has nearly £1.9 million to spend on the playing fields, including a £1 million grant from the Football Foundation and contributions from North Wiltshire District Council and Wiltshire County Council.

Coun Webb blamed the higher costs on the longer access road needed from Stanley Lane, because permission for an A4 access was refused.

Drainage of the entire site, rather than the individual pitches, has been recommended but will cost more.

Coun Webb said they would make a number of alterations such as reducing the amount of car parking space.

The town council will also be looking to other sporting organisations and local business for financial support.

She said: "We will go to all the sports clubs who originally expressed an interest. Now the project is a reality, and we need to find out if there is any money to put in."