More than 1,000 people passed through the doors of the Encounters pop up shop experience in Andover High Street recently to share their thoughts, ideas, memories and experiences of Andover.
Some of the material from the shop will be displayed in Andover over the next few months so that more people can enjoy the outcomes. The Memory Map will be on display at the Council Offices at Beech Hurst from the end of June, and the Micro World Collages, People’s Journey and Millennium Man installations will be on exhibition in the Arena Café at The Lights Theatre during the summer.
The data gathered in the shop is being collated and assessed to make recommendations for a public art programme for the town centre, as well as to inform other improvements. A report will be presented to the Andover Town Summit Board later this year, and the results will be made public in the autumn.
Councillor Ian Carr, Leader of the Council, said: “After visiting the Encounters shop, even the most cynical of people left smiling and feeling positive about being part of the experience. These positive ripples will continue to be felt as the data collected will contribute to projects that will help to enhance the town centre for many years to come.”
“This is yet another example of the projects and initiatives that have been developed as part of the Andover Summit.”
Comments received from visitors to the Encounters Experience:
- “I was so impressed that I visited several times, each time leaving with a calm, smiling, happy and positive air; a real credit and tribute to your work. Every town or community should have one!”
- “Amazing to bring people and stories together”
- “What a great space for engaging people to help make a difference“
- “Great idea for the towns future“
- “Awesome we need a place like this permanently “
- “Wonderful opportunity to see great ideas on what’s good, what’s bad and how to improve community“
- “We mustn’t sit at home and moan for things to change we must talk and communicate more“
Ruth Ben-Tovim, project coordinator for Encounters Arts, said: “The response from the people of Andover and surrounding villages has been overwhelmingly positive about the aims of the Encounters Project. It has been a fantastic opportunity for the community to celebrate what is good about Andover and for people to voice what they wish to change for the future.”
“Many people came in not knowing quite what to expect, and left full of enthusiasm. Our task now is to take the amazing volume of thoughts and ideas and feelings generated and channel them towards recommendations for a public art programme in Andover. This will be funded by Section 106 developer contributions from Andover Business Park and other new developments in the area.”