Tidworth's new £7.3m civic centre has celebrated a milestone as a ceremony was held to mark the start of work on the site. 

The building will also house the town's new community police station. 

Tidworth Mayor Mark Connolly cut the turf on Friday April 22 to officially signal the start of the work and was also joined by Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson.

The project is a joint venture between the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Tidworth Town Council.

The new building replaces the town's ageing community centre on Wylye Road and police stations in Tidworth and Amesbury which were "no longer fit for purpose for modern policing".

Salisbury Journal:

Mayor Mark Connolly breaks ground on the new project

Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Philip Wilkinson said: "This is a great day for East Wiltshire as there will be a fully formed community policing team, both neighbourhood and response, that will be looking after their local community.

"It's a key part of my Police and Crime Plan to have a major station to cover the north of the county, which is Gablecross in Swindon, one in the south in Salisbury, or as close to Salisbury as we can get, three in the West to cover the major towns of Melksham, Chippenham and Trowbridge, with a community police station in Tidworth to cover the East.

"The joint funding model with Tidworth Town Council means this project represents value for money and will allow us to better coordinate our activities with the military community, which plays a major role in the town.

"This partnership allows us to build a police station which is a better facility for people living in Tidworth, is more accessible and creates a better working environment for our officers.

"It will offer the police what they need as well as the council and the local community.

"I look forward to seeing the new station open next year"

Salisbury Journal:

PCC Philip Wilkinson speaking during the event 

Tidworth Town Council have committed £5.3m to the funding of the project with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner contributing £2m.

Neilcott Construction will start work on building the new station in July with the opening date planned for August 2023.

Mayor and Wiltshire Councillor for Tidworth Mark Connolly added: "We've been talking about a new Civic Centre for many years and to actually put a spade in the ground, knowing it's going to happen and we'll be moving into our brand new facility in August 2023 is great.

"Our old community centre used to have one bookable room. This new building means we can host a number of groups at the same time meaning it will be a real community hub.

"Working together with the Police, and Neilcott Construction means we can deliver a project we can all be proud of."

Devizes MP Danny Kruger, Superintendent Dave Minty from Wiltshire Police and John Papworth, the regional commercial director for Neilcott Construction, were also in attendence at the ground-breaking ceremony. 

Superintendent Dave Minty said: "This gives us the best of both worlds. We're working with our partners, people who are key to us delivering policing around the community, but it also gives us our own space to work on confidential matters.

"We also have a really good relationship with the Royal Military Police and this could be enhanced through the building of this facility as it means we can visit each other more regularly and this can only be a good thing."


Get more Salisbury news

You can also like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date, as well as signing up for one of our newsletters.

If you want online news with fewer ads, unlimited access and reader rewards - plus a chance to support our local journalism - find out more about registering or a digital subscription.

Email newsdesk@salisburyjournal.co.uk with your comments, pictures, letters and news stories.