Andover Town Centre Masterplan

A healthy new vision for an historic town centre.
Test Valley Borough Council
Type: Urban Design & Visioning
Date: 2020 - present

In 2020, working alongside NEW Masterplanning, HemingwayDesign completed a Vision and masterplan for Andover town centre. Our team worked closely with Test Valley Borough Council, with extensive consultation with Town Council officers and members, key employers, local retailers and the local community to secure widespread support for a comprehensive redevelopment focused on four key proposals:

1. Redevelopment of the Chantry Centre, an outdated and unattractive town centre shopping centre, recently acquired by the Council.

2. Development of a ‘WellBeing Quarter’, focusing on creating new green space for the town centre to promote physical and mental health.

3. Opening up the River Anton, currently ‘trapped’ inside a four lane gyratory. The proposals create a new pedestrian and cycle route with access to the river, enhancing the ‘shop window’ of the town centre and opening up land for a new town centre riverfront.

4. Reducing the scale of the Ring Road and creating new ‘civic’ streets. Improving facilities for walking and cycling, and freeing land up for larger parks, new green space and new development opportunities.

The proposals are supported by a public realm, meanwhile uses, and events strategy to maintain business confidence and support independent retailers. A variety of events, including a 5-day ‘pop-up’ shop to display the proposals and online surveys meant that more than 3,000 people were involved in shaping the strategy.

View the full Vision and masterplan report here.

The Vision and masterplan highlighted the importance of meanwhile activations, pop-up activity, and events to bring together the local community, help to create identity, and to give residents and visitors the gift of surprise and entertainment, helping increase visitor satisfaction and town centre footfall.

It made sense that the next step was to work with TVBC on an ‘event and meanwhile strategy’ for the town centre. The strategy explored ways Andover could be bold coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic, creating proposals for place-specific markets, events and meanwhile uses.

Andover and its surrounding towns and villages are packed with talent – designing, making, cooking, crafting, and brewing. With this in mind, we knew it was time to do what we do best and work with our client to produce a creative-led independent market.

Following a successful launch in June 2022, Second Sundays has gone from strength to strength, building on both trader and visitor numbers each month.

In late 2023 the project received a further boost as Test Valley Borough Council was awarded £18.3m in government funding. The major funding came from round three of the Government’s Levelling Up Fund (LUF). In the words of the local paper…

The funding allocated to Andover means the council can accelerate the masterplan to transform the town centre – bringing more businesses, shops and homes into the heart of Andover. The town centre masterplan, to which more than 4,000 residents, businesses and stakeholders contributed, will see the creation of the theatre and cultural hub run alongside development of the Western Avenue Riverside Walk, to which £6.5m of council funds were allocated earlier this year, which included £1m in developer contributions from Hampshire County Council”

Andover’s MP Kit Malthouse MP said: “I was so enthusiastic about the brilliant masterplan that I was determined to do everything I could to get their bid over the line, and I’m so pleased that Andover has won this massive amount of money”.

HemingwayDesign led a consortium to deliver the Regeneration Masterplan for Andover Town Centre. They employed a high level of quality community engagement that generated an overwhelming groundswell of support for the Masterplan (over 97% in favour). The masterplan itself is innovative and grounded in commercial reality, meaning that it is deliverable and will be transformational.

Paul Ramshaw, Regeneration Manager, Test Valley Borough Council