FUNDS have been set aside to buy "third party property interests" and carry out further development in the Maltings regeneration area.

The decision was made by Wiltshire Council's full council on November 26.

The council says that this marks a major step towards its realisation of its "ambitious plans for Salisbury".

It has agreed an increase in its capital programme to support this and says it will continue to develop its plans for "joined up development at the Maltings".

Wiltshire Council leader Philip Whitehead, said: “I am pleased this decision was approved by Full Council as it gives us the opportunity to take a holistic approach to the regeneration of the Maltings area and redevelop Market Walk to provide a high-quality commercial link between the Market Place and the Cultural Quarter.

“This comprehensive approach to development will deliver significant benefits for residents, visitors and traders alike and enables us to improve the city’s housing, commercial and cultural offer.”

Local Growth Funding of £6.1m has also been allocated to support the delivery of the project through the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP).

The statement released by said: "The regeneration of the Maltings and Central Car Park site, to improve residents and visitors’ experience, is an important policy objective for the council and is in line with the Local Plan and the recently endorsed Maltings and Central Car Park masterplan."

The decision over the funds was previously approved by the council's cabinet in October, but had to be signed off by Full Council before talks could be entered into with landowners.

This will allow the authority to either buy or rent parts of the land, as well as buildings, on the site.

At the previous meeting of the cabinet, Councillor Whitehead told members that releasing the funds for the Salisbury scheme would allow the council to “take ownership of the complete [Maltings] area”, adding: “This will significantly improve the deliverability of this proposal.”

The first phase of redevelopment of the Maltings has already started after planning approval was granted to build a hotel, library and gym on the site of the former British Heart Foundation store in Fisherton Street.