The Business, Economy and Employment Group has only recently commenced, and welcomes views from local businesses, traders and local residents.
Letters have been sent to estate agents. A survey has been sent round to all the businesses in Bowerhill as part of the Bowerhill Business Initiative. To date the response from these engagement initiatives has been disappointing.
It is considered that the canal development proposal is a core policy fundamental to the Neighbourhood Plan, and of such importance to the town that a meeting should be arranged with their representatives. The proposal contains ideas for housing, employment generation and leisure facilities to fund the canal, which need to be clarified. Jock McKenzie from WBCT has accepted an invitation to attend the Steering Group meeting to be held at on 13th January 2016.
It is suggested that the Neighbourhood Plan needs to consider as a wider community whether we want to keep Melksham small or achieve aspirations of growth. It is noted that a number of major employers have moved to the area, even though Melksham is not considered one of the principal settlement in Wiltshire.
Other issues to be explored in more detail is the potential of the several sites in the area that might be suitable for employment land development in Bowerhill and in the Hampton Park area; the mix of retail premises that might be attracted to the area; and it is also believed that Cooper Tires may be looking to relocate from their town centre site to the outskirts or even potentially leaving Melksham.