Delivery of the new town centre in Whitehill & Bordon, Hampshire has taken a giant step forward with the scheme awarded £4.8m of funding from Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (EM3 LEP).
The announcement is welcomed in delivering one of the most exciting and innovative regeneration projects in the country; creating a modern, high tech and healthy new town that celebrates its local history and heritage.
The EM3 funding, which remains subject to contract, will enable the landowner, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, and its appointed Development Manager, Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company, to push forward with the delivery of an indoor and outdoor market, the Makers Market, town squares and Town Park over the next eight months.
The funding will also strengthen mobile coverage across the town, providing greater mobile telephone capabilities and better internet access on the go for residents, retailers, businesses and visitors to the town.
The Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company is working very closely with East Hampshire District Council, Hampshire County Council, Enterprise M3 LEP, and partner Whitehill Town Council, to deliver a new town centre that offers something for everyone.
Together with the opening of a new leisure centre in November this year, the Makers Market and Town Park will be at the heart of the new town centre with a vibrant street food scene, themed outdoor markets, music, and a start-up business hub providing a large area of space for offices.
The new Town Park will wrap around the Makers Market with a terrace overlooking the landscaped park from the former Sergeants Mess. There will be a children’s play area as well as a petanque court.
Planning application has been approved for the Makers Market and work will begin in the next couple of months on its construction, with completion expected by spring 2021. An outdoor market and events in the town centre are planned for Easter next year.
“This announcement is a welcome step towards delivery of our ambitious plans for the Whitehill & Bordon town centre. We are passionate about creating a vibrant, long lasting town centre with shops, cafes, community and commercial business space, alongside leisure, entertainment spaces, offices and a new supermarket. Income from the Makers Market will go towards holding events and the running of the town centre,” said James Child, Project Lead, Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company.
The news comes after the recent opening of Cafe Hogmoor and the Beehive Education Rooms at Hogmoor Inclosure.
Kathy Slack OBE, EM3 chief executive said: “We are delighted to see the next steps taking place in the regeneration of Whitehill and Bordon.
“The Local Growth Funding which has supported this project from the start is providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure an economic and sustainable future for the town. I am particularly pleased that this latest release of funding is supporting the creation of a vibrant retail and business community in the town centre, both of which are so essential in these times.”
Councillor Andy Tree, Leader of Whitehill Town Council, said: “I am really pleased that this significant funding has been granted and look forward to seeing the positive results in the near future, for residents who have been eagerly awaiting the new town centre.”
Cllr Richard Millard, Leader of East Hampshire District Council said: “Each step we take hastens the next and this crucial funding will act as a catalyst for the rest of the town centre.
“From this will follow the Makers’ Market, the leisure centre, the Health Hub and more, creating jobs, generating wealth and providing Whitehill & Bordon with a heart.”
Hampshire County Council also welcomed the news, with its Leader, Councillor Keith Mans, commenting: “This is a significant development in the progress of Whitehill and Bordon regeneration in which we have been pleased to play our part. As a key partner, we have delivered vital infrastructure including the Whitehill and Bordon Relief Road, which is now to be upgraded with a new section of shared use footway and cycleway integrating the new and existing development areas to create a green, healthy and connected town.
“Additionally, construction of the new, sustainable secondary school, together with the innovative Future Skills Centre ensures that prospects for successive generations of young people, and the town’s economic prosperity, are bright.”