Independent Retailer Grant awarded to Tip Top BalloonsTest Valley Borough Council has awarded a £1,000 Independent Retailer Grant to Dave Stanbridge after he opened a Thornton’s franchise alongside his successful event décor business, Tip Top Balloons.

Dave opened the franchise back in November and the businesses are located at 1A and 1B Union Street in Andover Town Centre. He said: “I’m really pleased to have been able to bring Thornton’s back to Andover. The brand works really well with Tip Top Balloons and the setup of the two units is ideal to combine the businesses. I’d like to thank Test Valley Borough Council for the grant. The money has enabled me to purchase a new freezer so I can now sell ice cream in addition to the usual range of goods and services.”

Councillor John Cockaday presented the grant and said: “Mr Stanbridge is a very experienced Andover retailer and has worked in the town centre for the past 15 years. His investment in Thornton’s reflects his commitment to Andover and we wish him continued success with this business venture.”

Recipients of the £1,000 grant are awarded £500 after three months of trading and a further £500 after nine months. To be eligible for the grant, new or existing independent businesses must occupy a town centre ground floor unit which has been vacant for at least one month. Qualifying businesses include shops, restaurants and cafes.

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