Local News

Council approves funding package to accelerate Andover and Romsey regeneration projects

A funding strategy was approved at a full Council meeting on Thursday 29 February to move ahead with the priority regeneration projects in Andover and Romsey.

Test Valley Borough Council has identified opportunities to progress the schemes in both towns by identifying multiple funds, from the disposal of surplus assets, use of existing reserves, capital receipts and anticipated future contributions through the annual budget. Being in a strong financial position, the authority is able to capitalise on these funds to drive forward the regeneration in Andover and Romsey.

The funding package will be used in addition to existing funding for the regeneration plans including the award of £18.3m to Andover from round three of the Government’s Levelling Up Fund, £6.5m already allocated to redevelop the area around Western Avenue in Andover and £3.74m for architectural and technical services to deliver the new theatre in Andover, as approved at a full Council meeting in January.

Approval of the strategy will enable the council to accelerate its ambitious regeneration plans, in particular the creation of the new theatre in Andover and regeneration of the bus station site in Romsey.

Andover’s new theatre will be situated at the entrance of the Chantry Centre, opposite the Guildhall, and feature a brand-new theatre auditorium, as well as modern spaces to host a variety of events and creative classes that currently take place in The Lights, which it will replace. With Andover bus station and the Chantry Centre car park just a short walk away, it will have High Street shops, cafes and restaurants on the doorstep and with the green backdrop of Riverside Park. A comprehensive procurement programme is about to commence to recruit architects for the new theatre with a planning application expected later this year. 

Proposals to redevelop the bus station site in Romsey will see the provision of a new and improved hub for public transport in the area and a mixed-use development comprising community, commercial and residential uses.

Both regeneration programmes were adopted by the Council, following extensive public consultations. The Andover masterplan sets out a vision to completely transform Andover town centre and the Romsey masterplan proposes short, medium and long-term projects to rejuvenate the area south of the town centre. 

Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Phil North said: “We are already moving forward with our important regeneration plans in Andover and Romsey. This additional funding will ensure projects can be delivered to support the aspirations of both communities in-line with the visions set out in both masterplans.”