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Andover town centre gears-up for post-Covid events

Andover BID is delighted that Shelley Coburn has joined the Andover BID team with designated responsibility as Events Coordinator for the town centre.

Following discussions with Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) it has been agreed that Andover BID should take a lead on an events programme for the town centre and that Test Valley Borough Council will support Andover BID with some match funding for the events budget.

TVBC have also agreed some staff resources as support for getting a programme of regular events established, ensuring a comprehensive programme is properly coordinated through collaborative working with Love Andover, Andover Radio and other local stakeholders.

The BID which also runs the Town Rangers and ShopWatch radio link service says that the aim is to provide a ‘more efficient and cohesive’ event planning and delivery for the benefit of residents and businesses.

Shelley has joined Andover BID on a freelance basis supporting the town in this role. She has a diverse career history spanning over 25 years, providing events coordination, and top-level admin support and events within many sectors: publishing, telecoms, charity, and local government to name a few.

Cllr Phil North, leader of Test Valley Borough Council commented, “We are delighted to be working closely with Shelley and Andover BID to put together an enhanced program of events in the town centre for 2021, to increase footfall.

“So, when the restrictions are finally lifted, we can give our retailers the much required boost they require. A coordinated approach, planning and delivering events with TVBC, BID, Love Andover and other event providers is what the town needs.”

Andover BID manager Steve Godwin added, “We are pleased to be working with Shelley who is locally based with a strong and experienced background of organising and delivering events. It has been apparent for some time that whilst there are a number of different organisations and individuals delivering events in the town, there hasn’t until now been a coordinated or planned approach.

“The support of TVBC, Love Andover and other stakeholders in the town means that we are on course for an exciting programme of events when the COVID situation allows and in due course we will publish a full town events calendar.

“It is crucially important that businesses have a strong say in what happens in their town centre and through a co-ordinated approach from BID, we will ensure good and timely communication and events that are beneficial to the town and likely to bring business benefit. Shelley will also be looking to properly evaluate events to measure their popularity and effectiveness.”

Shelley has lived in Andover for 12 years with her young family and has attended and enjoyed many local events in the town. She is enthusiastic about getting involved with the BID and the town working alongside all the current stakeholders who run events in the town centre. She will act as a conduit between these stakeholders and businesses and work to signpost members of the community to all that is happening locally.

Over her career Shelley has been involved in helping to organise a whole variety of different events from Summer and Christmas parties, AGMs, Conferences, CPD events, large corporate quizzes, as well as many networking events and seminars – not to mention a period working at a community radio station in New Zealand, decorating their float and participating in the Wellington Carnival!

Shelley is known for being a ‘hands on’ individual and says that she is quite happy to roll up her sleeves and get stuck in. We could not think of anyone more suitable to be involved in the Andover town events scene, building relationships with business owners and residents through upcoming events within our community when the COVID situation allows.

Past collaborative BID events include the Crack The Code competition which saw over 1,000 people in the high street attempting to win £25,000. The Andover BID company also arrange for cost-effective waste removal solutions for local businesses.

BID Manager Steve Godwin told Andover Radio, “From a BID perspective, this initiative really says everything about the purpose of a Business Improvement District is to work with everybody, to pull together strands, and reduce duplication to make the town centre a better place.”

About the author

David Harber

David Harber is the founder and Managing Director of Love Andover, including the Love Andover Observer newspaper and 95.9FM Andover Radio. He is a fellow at the Royal Society of Arts and a card carrying member of the Nation Union of Journalists.