Gillingham is the most northerly town in Dorset, in the area known as the Blackmore Vale. It lies on the B3095 and B3081 in North Dorset, approximately 4 miles south of the A303 trunk road and 5 miles northwest of Shaftesbury.
Gillingham’s current population is 12,101 and is one of the fastest growing towns in the South West. It has been identified in the North Dorset Local Plan as one of the main towns that will deliver the most growth with at least 2,200 dwellings over the plan period up to 2032.
Gillingham Town Council is politically independent and has seventeen councillors who represent the five wards of Town, Wyke, Ham, Milton-on-Stour and Rural. There are 13 members of staff and the annual precept for 2019/20 was £858,594.
Gillingham Town Council is responsible several areas of public open space which are maintained to a high standard and have achieved accreditation from both Green Flag and South West in Bloom Pride in Parks.
The Town Council declared itself a ‘Pollinator Friendly Town’ in 2017, and in 2018 was awarded a DEFRA Bees Needs Award. The council is responsible for 650 mature trees and since 2012 has nearly 800 trees.
The Town Council is responsible for town centre street cleaning; various buildings including the town hall; the town cemetery and chapel; gardens; the closed churchyard at St Mary’s Parish Church; 16 play areas; 1 skatepark; 2 outdoor gyms and 1 outdoor table tennis facility; 2 war memorials; a speed indicator device; town centre CCTV; and 2 allotment sites.
Gillingham is a welcoming and friendly place to live and has a wide variety of community groups. Gillingham in Bloom has entered the South West in Bloom Competition for three years running, receiving a Gold Pennant Award in 2018. The town is Dementia Friendly.