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Be Seen, Be Central and boost business

Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) has joined forces with The Lifestyle Card and Andover Business Improvement District (BID) to launch the new Be Seen, Be Central campaign aimed at encouraging local retailers to take up vacant units in the Chantry Centre.

Andover has hundreds of successful businesses, with many of them operating out of the nearby business parks or from their homes and out-of-town offices. But with a number of empty units in the town centre, the council is encouraging business to consider the benefits of also showcasing their products and services in a central location.

And thanks to TVBC’s easy in, easy out occupancy agreements, businesses have the chance to try out a pop-up shop to enable them to test the water.

As well as filling vacant units while plans for the major redevelopment of the town centre continue to progress, the council hopes that this will give a platform for businesses and even those running local interest groups and services, to raise their profiles.

Anyone interested in renting a unit in the Chantry Centre can contact Colin Hares at Test Valley Borough Council, on 01264 368000 or email chares@testvalley.gov.uk

Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, councillor Phil North, said: “Last year, TVBC purchased the Chantry Centre to help facilitate a wider redevelopment in Andover. In the meantime, and despite difficult market conditions, we’ve been working really hard to encourage more businesses to ply their trade in the centre by reducing service charges and introducing easy in, easy out leases.

“One such business that has taken advantage of our pop-up shop initiative is the Mark 2 electric bike shop, which came from a lead from The Lifestyle Card. I’m therefore delighted that we have now been able to partner with The Lifestyle Card and Andover BID to launch our new Be Seen Be Central campaign.”

Fiona and Sean Caruana from The Lifestyle Card commented: “We believe the Be Seen Be Central campaign is a great initiative for businesses to take advantage of the opportunities that TVBC are providing in the Chantry Centre. The Lifestyle Card has witnessed many fledgling businesses develop over the past two years and by partnering with TVBC and Andover BID we feel this will further enhance opportunities for businesses wanting to have a town presence. With a big emphasis on supporting local and the easy in, easy out access available, there is little to lose and a fantastic opportunity to test the water before making any long-term commitment.”

Steve Godwin from Andover BID said: “We have always felt Andover to be an attractive and appealing market town, geographically convenient and well placed, particularly to small and start-up businesses drawn to the town centre because they feel welcomed and can enjoy a safe, secure and inviting environment. Our town has so much to offer compared to other towns and cities and we are delighted to be working closely with Test Valley Borough Council and The Lifestyle Card to promote all that is good about the town and to be able to promote the choice and flexibility that moving to town centre premises can offer.”