21 July 2021
The Vision's first in-person stakeholder meeting since February 2020 took place at St Mary’s Church with over 35 stakeholders in attendance.
Opening the meeting, Cllr Phil North reflected on the fact that despite the challenges of the past eighteen months, Andover Vision has continued to thrive. Cllr North reflected upon the amazing community response the town saw in the face of the pandemic. Connected Communities is one of the Vision’s key priorities and the Pandemic has shown us the strong community spirit that exists in the town as people have come together to help and support others.
We then had updates from our stakeholders, who told us about what they have in plan for the year ahead:
Steve Godwin, from Andover Business Improvement District (BID), reflected upon the achievements of the BID in its two years of existence. There have already been a number of improvements in and around the town centre including an increase in independent retailers and the provision of free Wi-Fi. Looking forwards, exciting projects the BID are helping to bring to fruition include: Andoverton a promotional video in the style of the hit Netflix series Bridgerton; creating a new website to showcase what’s going on in the town; and working with partners to stage a great range of events over the months ahead.
Liz Murray, from Valley Leisure, spoke about the move of the I Can Therapy Centre into the town centre. Now located in the premises formerly occupied by the Rendezvous, the centre provides a therapy service to help mobilise joints and muscles that is ideal for older, inactive and disabled adults. Having moved in April 2020, the centre sees over 200 visits per week which is expected to rise as the Covid situation continues to relax.
Sophie Evingar, from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust (HIWWT), spoke about their Tales from the Riverbank Photography Competition which looks to showcase Hampshire’s chalk streams (of which the River Anton is one) as part of their Watercress and Winterbournes project. Free to enter, there are six categories for which prizes will be awarded, entries must be submitted by the end of August. Further information can be found on the HIWWT website.
Jamie Hill provided a recap on Andover’s Climate Day of Action which took place on Friday 25 June. The day saw a wide number of businesses, community groups and schools from across the town highlight the challenge posed by climate change by walking to school or work, undertaking litter picks and river cleans and showcasing the steps they’ve already taken to reduce their carbon footprint. In addition to this, a number of stakeholders participated in a Climate Marketplace on the High Street on the Day of Action to spread awareness of their activities and encourage people to consider their environmental impact.
Following this, stakeholders then participated in the following roundtable discussions:
Connected Communities and Climate Change: this workshop consisted of two parts. Firstly, stakeholders considered what projects Andover Vision could progress that would harness the community spirit seen during the Covid-19 pandemic. Following this, time was then spent considering what tangible pieces of work Andover Vision could pursue in response to the climate emergency.
Vigo Road Recreational Ground: Stakeholders took part in the consultation Test Valley Borough Council are running to determine the future management and use of Vigo Rec. The consultation is running throughout the summer of 2021 and responses can be submitted on the Council’s website.
Andover Regeneration: This workshop covered a number of topics such as the desire to make activities and events a part of the regeneration project to bring people into the town. Place branding ambitions for the town were also discussed.
For more information about any of our stakeholders' updates, or if you would like to get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you again soon!