Wednesday 12 November saw an enthusiastic crowd turn up at The Lights to find out what ideas and aspirations were recorded for the future of Andover by residents when they visited the Encounters pop-up shop experience in the summer.
More than a thousand people left their memories, thoughts and suggestions about the town in the Encounters shop during May and June, and these were collated and presented to the public recently by Ruth Ben Tovim of Encounters Arts.
A number of themes have been identified and these will be considered and taken forward by Test Valley Borough Council’s Town Centre Environment Group in 2015. The group was formed out of the work of the Andover Summit and is focused on overseeing future work and initiatives relating to the physical environment of the High Street and its surrounding areas.
Recommendations from the Encounters project include enhancing the visual appearance of the High Street and increasing the number of large scale town events across the year; connecting more with the natural environment; fostering the sense of community in Andover and developing more incentives for local social enterprise and small businesses.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Carr, said: “The Encounters pop-up shop was an innovative and exciting way for the Council to engage with local people in an informal and creative way. The recommendations are directly from the heart of the people of Andover. Our task now is to distil these ideas into a practical action plan to take forward over the coming year.”