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Andover phone shop rings in £1,000

A phone accessories shop in Bridge Street has qualified for the borough council’s Independent Retailer Grant.

Test Valley Borough Council has awarded a total of £1,000 to business owner Mahinder Singh Poplee, after he opened FoneWiki, a mobile phone repairs and accessories shop in Andover’s town centre last year.

The unit had previously been empty since Autumn 2020, but Mahinder moved in during early 2021 and quickly gave the unit a new lease of life before opening to the public.

Ward councillor Iris Andersen, said: “This is a great example of how the council grants can be used. It’s wonderful to see another unit filled in the town centre. This spot on Bridge Street is a great location and I am pleased to see the windows brimming full of Mahinder’s merchandise.

“I wish him all the best in his new business venture.”

Recipients of the £1,000 grant first receive £500 after three months of trading and a further £500 six months later. To be eligible for the grant, new or existing independent businesses must occupy a town centre ground floor unit which has been vacant for at least one month.

Qualifying businesses include shops, restaurants and cafes.

These funds have become available to the community as a consequence of the council’s prudent investments, financial management and use of the New Homes Bonus.