Wiltshire Publications

Westbury Community Campus Working Proposal – Three sites, one community

WILTSHIRE Council has released details of the working proposal for the three-site Westbury Campus. 

The proposal highlights how recommendations were made and the results of consultation. Some of the aspects of their proposal are as follows:


Westbury community area was given an exciting opportunity to join in the community campus programme set up by Wiltshire Council. It has been welcomed by the community as a far sighted approach by the council to support local development of services and leisure activities fit for the 21st century.

The Westbury Community Campus Team (WCCT) have been working over the past two years to develop a vision and working proposal that properly reflect local desire and need. This has involved detailed consultation with users, service providers, clubs and individuals – all potential users of a community campus. The outcome of this work is reflected in the working proposal submitted for approval by the area board.

A need for the campus

Key drivers for the campus are the needs to provide a focus for regeneration and improvement in health and wellbeing, while properly supporting the growth of the population that has already occurred and change in demographics that is likely to continue with the new housing proposed for the town.

Regeneration and Demographics; Westbury has for many years suffered from a degradation in the quality of the town centre. The campus gives the opportunity to address this by making use of the library as the centre of town regeneration, lifting the quality of the building, its surroundings and expanding the facilities to provide a vibrant community hub that can be used by the people of the town and surrounding villages.

The population of the community area has increased by almost 25% over the past ten years, significantly more than that of the rest of the county. With new housing proposals now at outline planning stage it is likely to continue, with more young families who will need services and activities delivered by the community area.

The opposite side of this expansion is that health and wellbeing is a problem area for the community area, with a significant number of the key performance measures falling well short of county standards.

Support for the three-site campus 

Utilising a number of targeted and innovative ways of engaging with the community, the WCCT has run two public consultations over the past two years to help clarify the campus option.

The first round of the consultation highlighted strong support to keep services in the town centre and for the historic legacy in Westbury to be retained and preserved.

Taking into consideration the analysis of the results of the first consultation and following extensive discussions, the WCCT decided that in the second round of consultation, the community would be asked to consider and vote on one of three options – a three-site campus, a two-site campus and a one-site campus.

At the end of the consultation, analysis of the results showed the largest response from any campus consultation within Wiltshire and that there was an overwhelming 78.9% vote for option one, a three-site campus – retaining and improving Westbury Library, Westbury Pool and Leighton Recreation Centre. The biggest issues from comments were that the pool is a major asset for the town and that people are strongly attached to the current library.

There is also extensive concern about the continuing health of the town centre and a fear that an out-of town campus would be extremely detrimental. Because most responders fell into the higher age groups and also because of the proposed closure of the Westbury youth centre, young people from the Westbury Youth Advisory Group were asked to design a campus questionnaire for young people.

The aim was to capture their opinions of what they would like from a youth space in the campus. An excellent 63% response to the survey showed that 86% would like an outside space available and that their location of choice for youth activities was Leighton Recreation Centre.


Having reviewed the results of the consultations, considered the needs of services and discussed immediate and future requirements, the vision was developed to provide a basis for the look and feel of the facilities, considering the customer experience. Particularly important elements were:

• All buildings should be light and airy

• The library should act as a focal point in the town centre, to support regeneration of the town centre

• Customers receive a personalised service and feel valued/ supported

• The three sites should be linked through consistent branding, improved coordination of public transport supporting the community area and good visual route indicators

• IT should be common throughout, with free WiFi at all sites, good AV/TV facilities to encourage informal meetings

WCCT reviewed each of the three campus sites in detail, established the service and activities needed in each and scheduled these in terms of rooms, space and content required. The minimum core campus specification was established at a very early stage and is incorporated in the working proposal

The main elements to be delivered for each of the three parts are:

Pool: As the pool is very constrained, it was decided that improving the general ambiance was the best approach, with updated reception and changing being the main aspects of improvement.

Library:The library will be expected to host a number of services and is at present in need of some significant work to make it the focal building it needs to be. These include;

• Refurbishment and updating of the interior and exterior spaces,

• Lift access to the upper floors to make them publicly accessible

• Extension of the building, at least at ground level, to support the additional services and café

• Provision of a piazza in front of the building to improve pedestrian access and enhance the impact of the building at the end of the High Street. As it is a Grade II listed building, this will need to be carried out sympathetically. WCCT visited both Bourne House in Salisbury and Holburne Museum in Bath which are excellent examples of the type of development that could be adopted.

Leighton: Leighton Recreation Centre at present provides a large number of leisure activities.

Outside activities include football, cricket, tennis and netball. Inside, multiple use is made of the sports hall with widely varying activities from exercise for stroke patients through badminton to Tai Kwon Do. There are two squash courts and a fitness centre. There is also a bar, which users particularly want to remain.

The existing facilities are woefully inadequate to support demand and there is a real need to update and improve all the facilities at the site. Additionally, now the youth centre in the town has been closed, young people made it clear their preference was that all the youth activities be moved to Leighton; we have reflected this in the campus working proposal

The proposal includes provision of increased and improved space for indoor activities, while updating the existing. Outside, increased pitch, court and practice space with greatly improved access and lighting between activity areas. as well as taking into account the need to provide covered and all-weather facilities; all the clubs at present using the site have real difficulties in both practice and matches because of their lack.


On 6 February 2014 the area board members endorsed the option of developing a campus across three locations in the town: the swimming pool, the library and Leighton Recreation Centre.

During the past year the team has been developing a working proposal setting out how the team believes local needs and aspirations can best be met. This has included developing an overall vision for the campus, undertaking site visits to Writhlington Sports Centre, Holburne Museum and Bourne Hill, and engaging with a wide range of organisations.

Existing Westbury provisions

Currently the Westbury area has a swimming pool, a library, leisure centre and children’s centre. The future of its youth centre is currently under review and the building is no longer used.

The library is housed in a three storey Grade II listed building – formerly Westbury House. The library, situated at the junction of three town centre streets, is very well used but is currently accessible to the public only on the ground floor as it has no lift. However it has huge potential, when extended and a lift fitted, to offer a range of flexible community space. It has the added advantage of being right in the centre of the town, and its modernisation has the potential to ensure continued use of an important historic building.

Leighton Recreation Centre is some distance from the town centre but is on a spacious site and currently offers a range of facilities including sports fields. However current grass pitches are prone to water logging. The site has potential for expansion to include outside changing facilities, a 3G pitch, lighting for evening events and enhanced indoor facilities.

The town’s extremely popular swimming pool is in Church Street, just off the town centre. It is Grade II listed and is believed to be the oldest public swimming pool still in use. It has recently been refurbished and the pool relined. However it is situated on a restricted site with little potential for expansion.

Results from first Westbury consultation

There have been two public consultations to help clarify the campus concept and what it could offer to the community area. The first phase of consultation ran in the autumn of 2012 and in total more than 500 responses were received.

The consultation highlighted the following points:

• 91% voted for indoor leisure/sports facility

• 87.9% voted for improved services for the elderly

• 86% voted for the swimming pool

• 85% voted for the library

• 83.3% voted for youth activities

• 81% voted for activity rooms, learning and skills centre, access to NPT

• 79% voted for an information advice point, café and computers and the internet

• 78% voted for children’s play facilities and additional grass sports pitches

• 75% voted for outdoor floodlit all weather sports pitches

• 72.5% voted for a community hall and

• 68% voted for access to health advice.

The first round of consultation highlighted strong support for a ‘town centre’ campus and that the historic buildings in Westbury are preserved.

This was reinforced through the extra comments section where voters professed a solid desire to retain and improve the historic legacy of the town and to keep services in the town centre.

The library and swimming pool, in particular, are very important to local people but it was also widely noted that some of the current facilities are not fit for purpose, for example, access to the upper floors of the library building is not possible for wheelchair users without fitting a lift.

There was also a strong push to invest in activities and facilities for the youth of the area, and investment into the sports facilities, both indoor and outdoor was noted. There were also a number of interesting ideas for extra services the community would like including arts, cultural and exhibition spaces, local advertising space as well as the more ambitious requests for an ice rink and cinema.

Of the written responses, results showed

• 80% were influenced in their use of the campus by opening times,

• 78% were influenced by prices

• 76% wished the campus to be within walking distance of the town centre

• 63% also felt that adequate parking needed to be a key consideration; important in a rural area where people from the out lying villages may in some cases drive to a campus. However the need for a good bus service both from the surrounding villages and between the individual campus sites was noted.

The WCCT utilised a number of different approaches to gain these responses which included:

• Systematic press releases and consultation form in the White Horse News

• Consultation forms in public spaces/buildings throughout the community area (doctors’ surgeries, library, town hall, swimming pool, Leighton Recreation Centre)

• Online form

• A QR code (linking to the online form) on posters that were placed in public areas and in the local Matravers School in and around Westbury and the surrounding villages

• Drop boxes at key locations

• Link sent via the community area manager to network of contacts

• Face to face consultation at the events of the Westbury Music & Arts Festival

• Regular face to face consultation by manning a table at supermarkets within the town

• Radio Interview with Wiltshire BBC radio.

Second consultation

It was apparent from the first consultation that the residents of Westbury community area were strongly opposed to facilities/services moving out of the town centre and also that there was a very strong desire to retain the historic legacy of Westbury – in particular the library and swimming pool.

There were a number of options that could be explored and following extensive discussions, the WCCT decided that rather than offering up a single option for a campus, the community should be asked to consider a number of options. This would generate debate and discussion and enable all options to be looked at with a preferred option hopefully coming forward.

Therefore, the second consultation launched in August 2013 asked for a vote on one of three options:

1. A three-site campus [retaining and improving the library, the swimming pool and Leighton Recreation Centre]

2. A two-site campus [retaining and improving the library and Leighton

Recreation Centre with a new 25-metre swimming pool being built on that site]

3. A single site campus [a brand new build, on a site to be determined within the environs of Westbury town centre]. It was made clear that if this option was chosen, then a call for sites would be made and the existing facilities at the library, swimming pool and Leighton RC would be moved to the new site and these buildings/land made available for sale or other uses.

At the end of the consultation, analysis of the results showed that there were 1,045 responses – the largest response from any campus consultation within Wiltshire. Of these responses,

• Option 1 received an overwhelming 78.9% support

• Option 2 received 10.5%

• Option 3 received 8.3%

• Other received 2.3%.

The biggest issues from comments were that Westbury pool is a major asset for the town and also that people are strongly attached to the current library (although there is room for improvement).

There is also extensive concern about the continuing health of the town centre and a fear that an out-of-town campus would be extremely detrimental. The town centre is seen as accessible to all whilst out-of-town sites are viewed as being more difficult to access, particularly by the elderly and those without cars.

Although a good number of responses were received in the first consultation, there was an acknowledgement that for the second round of con sultation the WCCT would need to consider targeted and innovative ways of engaging with the community to make sure many people fed their views into the process.

• Collection boxes and forms placed at public buildings, supermarkets, doctors’ surgeries, schools throughout the community area.

• Online form

• Regular articles in the White Horse News

• The WCCT has always considered that face to face meetings with the public are important to ensure that the consultation as many as possible. To this end,

– members of the WCCT attended library regularly at its busiest time

– visited Leighton RC during the busiest evening sessions

– attended the opening event of Westbury Music & Arts Festival

– a letter sent to every community group (ranging from sports clubs, to Townswomen’s Guild, WI, Probus etc.) seeking permission for a WCCT member to attend one of their regular meetings to discuss the consultation and seek the views of their members

– capitalising on Westbury Town Council’s Westbury at Christmas

celebrations by including copies of the consultation included in the Westbury at Christmas publication

– the WCCT having a major presence at the street event for turning on the Christmas Lights.

Youth consultation

In Spring 2014, young people from the Westbury Youth Advisory Group, led by the young people’s representatives of the WCCT, designed a campus questionnaire for young people to complete to ascertain what they would like from a ‘youth space’ for them in the campus.

There were ten questions in total and the surveys distributed to all tutor groups in years seven, eight and nine at Matravers School. The aim was to capture the opinions of the age range 11-15 on this occasion with the intention of circulating the surveys to years 10, 11 and sixth form in the future Response to the survey was excellent – of the 450 surveys sent out there was a 63% return rate.

• Most popular resources requested were a pool table, TV, computers and a tuck shop.

• They would most favour teachers (31%), followed by volunteers (28%) and youth workers (26%) to run the youth facility.

• They would overwhelmingly (86%) like an outside space available and for this to have flood lighting so that it can be used in the evenings.

• Their location of choice for the youth facility was Leighton Recreation Centrewhich fits well with their wish for a sports facility to utilise.

 Community engagement 

The WCCT has engaged with local community groups including the Westbury Heritage Society. As part of the wider campus programme the council has engaged with a wide range of county wide voluntary and charity organisations. This showed there was considerable interest in the use of campuses with a number of organisations indicating they were specifically interested in using Westbury.

Leisure Activity engagement

Consultation has taken place with users and potential users of Leighton Recreation Centre. This has been carried out through email, telephone conversations and face to face meetings. Those contacted are include, Westbury Cricket Club, Westbury Netball Club; indoor and outdoor White Horse Badminton Club; indoor Westbury White Horse Karate Club; indoor Westbury Tae Kwon do; indoor Trowbridge Aikikai;

Football clubs include Bratton FC, Trowbridge Tigers F.C, White Horse F.C, Dilton Rovers, Club 54, Westbury Rangers, Westbury Youth FC, Westbury Conservative Club F.C, Prestbury Sports Bar F.C.

The main comments on the existing facilities are summarised:

• Too small, not able to book when we need

• Expanded indoor halls for multiple activities

• Changing facilities are inadequate/outdated; need outside changing rooms

• Courts are old and need replacing

• Need all weather pitches

• Need covered courts

• Access around the site is poor

• Lighting needs to be upgraded to make pitches available after dark

• Sprung floor for exercise rooms

• Café/bar facilities need upgrading and to operate as a meeting place

Vision following findings and consultation

The vision was developed by the WCCT based on the findings of research, consultation and engagement that had been undertaken. This vision aims to set out the overall look and feel of the proposed campus. This includes

• Any extension to the library or the swimming pool site should provide a counter point to the styles of the existing buildings. (E.g. the Holburne Museum and Bourne Hill extensions)

• All three buildings should be designed to be light and airy so as to ensure they are welcoming and people visiting them feel a “buzz”.

• Incorporate local heritage within the design and finish

• Incorporate local public art both internally and externally

• Make the library site a focal point at the end of the High Street

• Create a pedestrianised open plan piazza to the front of the library

• All sites to be open plan but with sufficient privacy

• Space to be flexible and adaptable

 Customer experience 

• Welcoming, attractive and interactive customer experience

• Customers receive a personalised service and feel valued

• Staff/volunteers are helpful and well informed

• Staff are incentivised

• Customer get the product/service they want/need in an efficient, helpful and

well informed way

• Campus provides modern, relevant and fit for purpose products/services (leasing)


• Provide a community focus through an appropriate catering offer, via an appropriate provider, that attracts people and provides added benefits for users of other services at Leighton Recreation Centre and the library.

• Vending to be provided at the swimming pool

• Café areas to flow and integrate with other facilities services (eg incorporate art or displays)

• Appropriate staff facilities

• Emphasis on a quality catering offer

• Community catering facilities to be available


• Toilets and personal care rooms to be accessible from the outside

• Campus well sign posted around the town

• Lifts at Leighton Recreation Centre, the library and potentially at the swimming pool

• Improved access by car, foot, bike and public transport to Leighton Recreation Centre that is better lit and safe to use

• Disabled parking facilities at all three sites

• Better coordination of public transport throughout the community area to the three sites

Site linkages

• Access all services at all sites (e.g. bookings for rooms, services, activities etc)

• Visually consistent and branded, inside and out, across all three sites

• Internal and external electronic info boards at all three locations

• Signage between sites

• Visual/physical pavement/route indicators linking the three sites



• Leighton Recreation Centre to provide the majority of indoor and outdoor facilities for young people based on the consultation results with young people

• The leisure offer to be defined in the widest way to cover all recreational activities – the centre to be seen as a sport, fitness and leisure area

• Leisure facilities to include multipurpose meeting spaces

• Provide leisure facilities that increase use by existing users and encourage new users

• Create a safe and welcoming feel in the external approach and carpark of Leighton Recreation Centre

• Outdoor facilities are all weather, usable for different sports/activities and at different levels of skill and experience

• Facilities provide an attractive offer to all ages and groups

• Centre promotes a healthy lifestyle

• Indoor facilities are purpose built to enable flexible multipurpose usage

• Preserve the cricket square

• Provide added benefit attractions to attract new users and retain existing users


• Online booking for all services

• Hi speed broadband with free public wifi at all sites

• Sockets throughout

• Provide a range of publically-available AV, electronic presentation, facilities, and vid conferencing facilities

• Accessible IT E.g. loop and IT for visually impaired

• Publically available IT equipment that can be hired on site eg tablets and games consoles

• Latest/enhanced mobile reception at all three sites

• Sound proofed room for music

Westbury Swimming Pool

Westbury Swimming Pool

Westbury Swimming Pool 

To make the pool more appealing to attract more users, consideration has been given to providing additional facilities, but as the building footprint fills the available land there is no opportunity to expand.

Focus must therefore be on access to and the interior of the building. There are a limited number of things that can be done within the building and these will need to be carried out sympathetically as it is Grade II listed.

Some thought was given to providing a café but as space is limited and it is unlikely there would be sufficient footfall because of the location and the single use of the building, this was not taken forward.

Thought was also given to parking but the location prohibits anything other than possibly disabled parking. This will need to be checked at feasibility stage.

The recommendation of WCCT therefore is that the following should be the minimum provided at the pool:

• Extended reception – This to provide a more attractive and welcoming entry point, a meeting place for those coming and going from the pool

• Refurbish existing changing rooms – The existing changing rooms are in poor condition and unattractive; the refurbishment must provide a modern feel, with family changing, showers and proper drying facilities

• Maintain vending machines – Having reluctantly accepted that a café would not be sensible, WCCT concluded that the minimum provision should be for the vending machines to remain; they should provide light snacks and hot/cold drinks. While these will need to be run by a commercial organisation, the prices should be as close to cost price as possible.

• Refurbish upstairs existing meeting room – The existing meeting room should be renovated to the same standards as the remainder of the campus and become a “rentable space” within the campus for either public or private meetings.

Westbury Library

Westbury Library

Westbury Library

There will be a need to make space available for the Neighbourhood Police Team. Expressions of interest in use have also come from Westbury Heritage Society, Relate and Dorothy House. More widely, the following have expressed an interest more generally in use of campus assets in Wiltshire; Alzheimers Society, Stroke Association, Age UK, CAB, ASK

Interestingly the young people surveyed put the library a close second to Leighton as the preferred location of their facilities.

From the above and the natural growth that will occur once the building has been remodelled and extended it is clear that the existing and potential use of the library is significant.

Although the building has three floors, because of the lack of a lift, only the ground floor area at present is fully accessible by the public. The upper floors are also poorly set out for modern office/public use.

The building therefore needs significant work to make it the statement building it should be. It is also very apparent that the building will almost certainly need extending, at least on the ground floor, to deliver the demands identified by WCCT. The planned ground floor use potentially doubles the area at present available. An extension and the lift provision can be a part of the new development. A major benefit of the extension and remodelling is that the building will become a focal point in the centre of Westbury, not only because of the services it contains, but because of the impact it will make at the end of the High Street.

To enhance this impact, WCCT propose that the area in front of the Library be remodelled into a pedestrian only piazza. Clearly this will need some traffic remodelling for the local area, but properly planned will deliver significant benefits to the town.

As the centre of town focal point for the community campus, it will also house themain point of contact (the face) for all campus facilities.

The recommendation of WCCT therefore is that the following should be provided atthe library:

Library services:Library services area needs to be modernised and upgraded, with more space allocated to children’s books and with improved reading areas and provision for formal reading. Preferred location of the library is on the ground floor with an increase in area of approximately 20% to provide the additional facilities. The non-public area of the building is at present used to store a large nmber of books. These need to be moved to enable the space to be converted

• Range of flexible community space: A number of social spaces and meeting rooms of various sizes to enable people of various age groups and needs to have easy to access spaces which are structured to offer “user friendly” spaces. These spaces need to be flexible to accommodate the different needs of community  groups.

• Flexible office space for council and partners (hotdesks). As with the other satellite council offices in Wiltshire, these will be fully flexible and enable council officers to make full use of council facilities (IT/phone etc)

• Space for Heritage Society permanent display and in formation. This will provide a greatly improved focal point for the town and also deliver tourist type information as part of its brief. For that reason it needs to be based on the ground floor to maximise footfall and access for casual (tourist type) visitors. The aim should be to make the space interesting for the casual visitor and also enable those wanting more in depth information to be able to study.

• The Registrar requires a private meeting room that can probably be accommodate in the flexible community space one-two-one rooms.

• Neighbourhood policing team based in building. Police require dedicated space, to accommodate three to five people. Access is required 24/7, with parking for three police cars. They will also require their own meeting room and dedicated equipment store.

• Café.

To enhance the look and feel of the Library, WCCT believe that it is important that a café is established in the building.

• A clinical room will be provided to enable treatment and in order that people with limited mobility can be treated and then have some social interaction using other parts of the library facilities. This space needs to have a treatment area, be easily cleaned and have a hygienic sink

• Reception area for the campus single point of contact.

Leighton Recreation Centre

Leighton Recreation Centre

Leighton Recreation Centre

The proposals will need to be discussed further with the users of the centre in detail to make sure that the feasibility study takes account of further integration of the individual areas proposed. It is clear, for example, that 3G pitches have a potential multi-sport use offering opportunity for football, hockey and rugby use with the right design of pitch. There is a significant pent up demand for such a facility in the community area.

Also clear is that other sports such as netball, badminton and tennis can share common facilities, indoor and outdoor, making provision much more efficient.

To maximise the benefit of such a multi-use development there will be a need to have strong leadership in the Centre, ensuring fair and sensible use. This will need to be addressed in the detailed planning for governance in the long term.

• The building is in good basic condition but is shabby and unattractive. It needs a serious facelift to maximise appeal.

• The gym has recently been refurbished and provides a range of aerobic and weight lifting facilities. To maximise the membership and to draw people back to Leighton the range of equipment should be increased, which will require the area to be expanded. Much more should be made of promoting these facilities.

• Extended sports hall

• Two flexible community spaces; including one with a large sprung floor for use in exercise classes (Pilates, Zumba, Tai Chi) and a second with a softer more relaxed finish, soundproofed for music practice.

• One-to-one meeting space; use for private meetings

The area available for pitches/courts/parking etc is tight and is efficiently laid out for what takes place at present; any plans for additional act ivities or more facilities for the same activities will need careful thought and planning.

Particular focus should be on the improvement in the use of the facilities in poor weather, as has been experienced over the past few years and is likely to continue. Climate change is bringing problems for outdoor sports and needs to be taken into account in planning future facilities. Consideration should be given for a range of facilities such as 3G artificial pitches, more covered sports areas and better access around the grounds in order that sports are continued to be played outdoors throughout the year.

• An absolute minimum of one 3G pitch, building scope to expand into planning. Evidence from all football clubs using the facilities is that 3G pitches are an essential requirement. Some clubs have actually said that they would play their matches normally on a 3G pitch in preference to turf. 3G pitches are also now the standard surface for hockey, providing an ideal playing surface. While care will be needed in selecting the appropriate surface for multiple sports use, provision will attract a wider variety of sports. Careful review of future use should be a key part of the feasibility stage including schools and college teams who should be encouraged to use Leighton.

• At present Leighton has outdoor tennis courts; these are remote from the main building, have very poor access and no facilities adjacent for changing or for general pre match meeting or spectator shelter. Having had feedback from a number of players who used to use Leighton and now play elsewhere, it is clear that significant improvements need to be made to encourage use. This should include greatly improved access to the courts, ideally moving the courts much closer to the main building; the Tennis courts at Leighton.

For the full proposal visit  www.cms.wiltshire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspxCId=173&MId=8188&Ver=4