Our History

1975 Peter Quinney, formed the Christie Miller Gymnastics Club which operated out of the Christie Miller Sport Centre just across the road from our current location in Bowerhill, Melksham. The club had just 34 members and met twice a week for four hours.

1994 The club changed its name to the Wiltshire School of Gymnastics (WSG) and applied for Educational Charity Status, which it received during that year.

1995 WSG left the CM centre and moved to rented industrial premises. An unsuccessful lottery application was submitted.

1996 A second application was submitted with the intent of purchasing the property and refurbishing the interior. The owner of the property gave the club three years to find the necessary funds.

1997 The lottery application was successful but in the same week the owner decided for commercial reasons he did not now wish to sell. As lottery grants are non transferable, meetings where held both in London and Melksham to ensure that the monies would not be lost from the County. It was agreed that WSG would submit a third lottery application, Nigel Clark Architects where instructed to draw up plans and Wiltshire County Council agreed that the building could be erected on part of the Christie Miller car park.

1999 The application was granted and the Wiltshire School of Gymnastics was awarded nearly £550,000 by the National Lottery Sports Fund towards the building that was to become its permanent home. Together with the other loans and the lease of the land this meant that the dream of a permanent home for the club could finally move forward to a firm timetable. The period up to Christmas was spent looking for additional sponsors so that the overall loan burden could be potentially reduced and enquiries were made with other financial institutions with a view to refinancing the club’s entire credit facility. Lieutenant General Sir Maurice Johnston KCB, OBE, the Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, offered the use of his name in support of the campaign.

2000 HSBC provided a loan facility of £190,000. Negotiations with the contractor, Wiggins Gee, led to a firm start date of 2nd May 2000. Work then began and progressed steadily over the summer. Although the building was not quite finished, WSG finally moved into its new home in November. Parents and gymnasts spent a long and tiring weekend moving lock, stock and barrel from the old to the new facility.

2001 WSG were honoured to welcome the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, on Thursday 8th February 2001, to perform the official opening.

2015 With assistance from Wiltshire Council, WSG secured funding to build a large extension to the existing facility. Works commenced in March and officially opened by Cllr Baroness Scott of Bybrook OBE and International GB gymnast Ruby Harrold.

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