Charities and local community groups are now able to hire either the High Street or the Time Ring in Andover High Street free of charge, following a decision taken by Test Valley Borough Council’s Cabinet.
The request for the cancellation of the concessionary charge was made by Councillor Iris Andersen who said “Charities are already struggling in these hard times so I brought the issue to the attention of the Cabinet to see if there was something we could do to help. I am absolutely delighted with their response.”
New Leader of the Council, Councillor Phil North said “Cllr Andersen is the champion of so many voluntary causes in Andover – so when she brought forward a request on their behalf, we listened.”
“We wanted to make a significant commitment to charities and community groups in Andover enabling them to save money and help publicise their cause. Although this means the Council will have to provide staffing to facilitate this hire and lose some revenue, we believe the benefits to the community outweigh these issues – and will encourage more vibrancy in our High Street.”
Charities and local community groups can benefit from two days free of charge per year. After this they would pay the standard concessionary charge. This offer is in addition to the ‘Charity pitch’ on the Thursday and Saturday Markets which charities can use free of charge up to 4 times a year.
Last year (2016/17) there were two hires of the High Street by Commercial/Private organisations and seven Concessionary bookings. The Time Ring had eight Commercial bookings and 25 Concessionary ones.