Test Valley Borough Council has bought the Chantry Centre in Andover’s town centre.
The council already owned 40% but in a £7.2m deal has now bought the long leasehold from Aviva meaning that the council now has complete control over the site.
As the council pushes forward with its vision for Andover, the project to develop a Cultural Quarter on the adjacent site can now be joined with the Chantry Centre to provide an opportunity for a major redevelopment of Andover town centre.
Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Councillor Phil North said: “This is an incredibly important purchase for the council and has been a year in the making. I have made clear my aspiration to improve Andover – and full ownership of the Chantry Centre is essential in order for us to pursue our redevelopment plans.”
“Due to commercial sensitivities we have been unable to talk about the Chantry Centre purchase until now and its link to the Cultural Quarter – where we also plan to redevelop the area around the Magistrates Court – providing a new theatre and eateries with outdoor seating. Joining these projects together is a once in a generation opportunity for the town which I’m determined to grab with both hands. The new riverside park at Town Mills will also play a vital role in the overall enhancement of the area.”
“This is a project for the people of Andover to create an attractive and vibrant town centre – and over the summer there will be various opportunities for public consultation and feedback as we embark on the masterplan work to shape our new town over the coming years.”
Cllr North added: “One of the council’s immediate plans is to completely refurbish the toilets at Andover bus station. This overhaul will see the facility revamped to a high, modern standard, complementing the brand new Changing Places toilet facility that the Council opened recently in the UNITY premises.”
“And, in further good news, I also plan to extend the opening hours of the Chantry Centre car park for the benefit of customers of The Lights and leisure centre, as well as those out for drinks or a meal in the town centre.”
Following the masterplan work and public feedback, Test Valley Borough Council will evaluate redevelopment options in a bid to attract more jobs to the borough and increase footfall in the town centre.