Chippenham is the pilot town for the Refashion My Town project.
It is a thriving market town in north west Wiltshire with a population of about 50,000, many of whom are young people. Once known as a cloth town (weaving wool for uniforms worn by British soldiers in the Napoleonic Wars), it is now the home of the engineering giant Siemens and the renewables company Good Energy, among other employers. Surrounded by lovely countryside, and nestled on the banks of the River Avon, it is has two beautiful parks – John Coles and Monkton Park, and a historic town centre.
The town has recently declared a climate emergency and an advisory group on tackling climate change is being established. The forward-looking Neighourhood Plan has a topic group on sustainability.
Local environmental groups include:
- Zero Chippenham
- Friends of the Earth
- Off the Ground
- Chippenham Refill
- MAD about Waste
- The Ramblers
On the arts and eduction front, there are several local dance and drama groups, and an artisan’s market is due to open in October.
The town has three secondary schools and is home to part of Wiltshire College & University Centre. There’s an excellent Museum and Heritage Centre in the Market Place, alongside the Neeld Hall, which hosts a variety of cultural and social events.
Lastly, Chippenham is known for its charity shops. Ten of these sell donated clothing and accessories, and they are all within easy walking distance of each other, making Chippenham something of a destination for second-hand.
( Image by Chippenham Council )