Test Valley Borough Council signs up to the new Andover Vision
At the full Council meeting on June 28, it was unanimously agreed to sign up to the new 20 year Andover Vision Strategy for 2017 – 2037.
Other partner organisations that have been involved in Andover Vision are also being asked to sign up to the document on the basis they will commit to work together to achieve certain ambitions for the benefit of the town and its residents.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Phil North said: “ I am delighted that the Council has committed to the renewal of the Andover Vision. We are just one of the many partners that will work together on future plans, influence funding and help deliver projects that matter the most to residents. We want to promote a sense of pride within the community which will result in achieving great things for the town.
Ensuring that the community engagement and consultation reached as many people as possible was hugely important. More than 1,500 people have been engaged including over 400 school pupils, local businesses, minority or hard to reach groups including Polish, Nepalese and Muslim communities as well as young parents. This means we can confidently say; ‘These are your aspirations, your future, your town.”
As part of its community leadership role, the Council has led on the implementation of the Andover Vision process and been fully involved in the development of the new strategy with other key organisations
The renewal of the Andover Vision began in April 2016 at the first Community Conference where over 70 residents and stakeholders from community groups across Andover were asked to cite their ambitions for the town, and how they could play a key role in shaping and being part of delivering a new vision. In April 2017, the new strategy was launched.
The Vision strategy sets out five ambitions for the town which partners and communities will use as the strategic framework to shape and influence the future of Andover. It will also provide the catalyst to take forward a range of projects in the short, medium and long-term.
The strategy has been developed in recognition of how Andover has and will continue to change into the future.
The five new strategic ambitions of the Andover Vision are:
• Being part of a connected community
• Having a great green environment
• Being part of a thriving town centre
• Supporting business, jobs and skills in the town
• Access to great health
Each ambition has a set of “big ideas” describing what projects partners will work on together through an action plan that will be developed in summer 2017.
The big ideas include a huge number of opportunities to be taken forward over the next twenty years. This will include projects such as: ongoing enhancements to the town centre, enhancing the area around the River Anton to make it more of a focal point, delivery of new leisure facilities, improving the access to the countryside from the new developments on the eastern side of the town, exploring the future market and retail offer of the town, developing the “Engineered in Andover” brand and working on projects to improve the mental wellbeing of the town.
As part of developing the new vision during the last year a number of smaller projects have already happened. These include:
• Two new table tennis tables equipped with bats and balls located in Andover Town Centre - this idea won the public vote at the 2016 Carnival.
• A photo competition hosted by Andover Mind, of inspiring images of the town culminating in a calendar which is raising money for wellbeing and mental health.
• An initiative that saw a long term vacant property in the town host an Andover Vision exhibition using an innovative 3D window dressing design.
Public engagement will continue over the summer 2017, to finalise and prioritise the action plan.
Andover Vision first began as a joint partnership project in 2005, shared between the private sector and the public sector. The first Andover Vision document, “ It’s our time” was produced in 2007. It contained many ambitious projects for the period of 2007-2016. The Vision was successful in its venture and delivered a number of high profile projects for the town, such as the Cinema, the Lights Theatre, a new 6th form college and a range of annual events such as the Junior Graduation and local sports fairs.