17 JAN 2018

Cultural Quarter receives Boost from Andover College

Test Valley's ambition to develop a Cultural Quarter on the site of the former Andover Magistrates Court has received a huge boost after Andover College and Simplyhealth UK asked to be included in the market engagement exercise.

The ambitious scheme to redevelop of the whole site – which potentially could include a brand new theatre – upgrading The Lights; eateries with outdoor seating looking out over a landscaped plaza area; community provision; leisure facilities to complement those in the new Andover Leisure Centre; and now potentially an upgraded college.

This means that we will now be issuing an updated market engagement notice to reflect this new and significant opportunity and to hear from developers what options might be possible for the site. However, understanding the possibilities from the market is just the first phase. We will then undertake a considerable public consultation exercise to help us decide and shape which ideas to pursue.

Tim Jackson, principal of Andover College said: "Our Town Centre location is important to us for students to access bus and train services and our continued success has led us to consider expanding and improving our facilities. This venture by the Council provides scope for us to become involved and play an even larger part in the future of the town."

Simplyhealth have identified the opportunity to also include their Anton House site in the market engagement exercise. Richard Gillies, Chief Operating Officer at Simplyhealth said: "We're really excited to be part of this early consultation. With 850 employees based in Andover we remain committed to the local area. As a growing, innovative organisation this gives us and other local partners a great opportunity to come together and think differently. We're looking forward to being part of the process, seeing any options for redevelopment and the potential opportunities this could bring to the local community and our employees, as well as for our business and customers".

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