The President, John Constable, and the several members of the Dorset & Wilts. RFU Council who accompanied him, were very impressed with the up-to-date clubhouse and facilities at the new home of Melksham RFC when they visited last Saturday.
The Club had been looking forward to the move from the old facilities at Melksham House in the town centre for a long time and Wiltshire Council had officially handed over the keys to the new state-of-the-art facilities for Melksham's football and rugby clubs at Oakfields on 10 January, after a delay of a year to re-site the colony of Great Crested Newts that had been found there.
The £7.3m facility includes a 1,773 sq m building featuring separate facilities for each club, with seating overlooking the football pitch. There are 16 football and rugby pitches, a mixture of junior and adult pitches, along with car parking and a new access road and junction.
Pat Holtom, chairman of Melksham Rugby Club, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to grow rugby in the town. I'm looking forward to more and more people getting involved including volunteers, parents and of course players. A big thanks must go to everyone who has helped make this a reality."
In recent years, rugby in Wiltshire has benefited from substantial improvements in clubhouses and facilities. A couple of years ago, Trowbridge Rugby Club had moved to its present site and new clubhouse while, more recently, Royal Wootton Bassett Rugby Club opened its own brand-new facility. The Dorset & Wilts. RFU has also been able to support improvements at the Chippenham, the Devizes and the Salisbury clubs, as well as others.