Whitehill & Bordon’s town centre took another big step forward as construction began on the next key element of the project, the Makers Market.

Representatives from the Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company and partners involved in delivering the new town centre in Whitehill & Bordon, took part in a ground-breaking ceremony on Tuesday 6 October at the site of construction for the new Makers Market.

The Makers Market project took a giant leap forward in August when it received commitment to £4.8m of funding from Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), to push ahead with the delivery of an indoor and outdoor market, the Maker Market, town squares and Town Park in Whitehill & Bordon. 

The ground breaking ceremony was attended by: David Axam, Chair, Enterprise M3 LEP; Councillor Richard Millard, Leader of East Hampshire District Council; Clare Chester, Head of Regeneration & Economy, East Hampshire District Council; Councillor Andy Tree, Leader of Whitehill Town Council; Vanessa Marden, Defence Infrastructure Organisation; James Child, Project Lead, Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company.

The vision for the new town centre is to create a bold and inviting destination that embraces innovation, social inclusion, local heritage and the natural environment – the Makers Market is at the heart of that, and will be renamed The Shed when it opens to the public at Easter 2021.  

The Shed will house up to 17 permanent indoor shops including a microbrewery, bakery, deli, and stalls which serve street food. There will be breakout areas with seating for eating and entertainment, and a Changing Places facility to provide accessible toilet and changing facilities for all. 

James Child, Project Lead, Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company, said: 

This is an incredibly exciting moment for the regeneration of Whitehill & Bordon. We are creating a vibrant town centre for the local community to benefit from for many years to come, and The Shed will become a great place for local people to meet, enjoy good food and drink, shop, and support local enterprises. We look forward to opening the doors and welcoming the public.”

Commenting Dave Axam, Chair of Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership:

“I was delighted to be at the ground breaking ceremony for the Whitehill and Bordon Makers Market. The development of the Makers Market in the new town centre will see 17 small businesses have a new, modern home when it opens next year, giving them the opportunity to grow in what have been very uncertain times. Investing in opportunities to help communities thrive is at the heart of what EM3 does and I am thrilled to have seen first-hand, the progress being made.”

Commenting Councillor Andy Tree, Leader of Whitehill Town Council, said:

“I was very excited to be invited to the Makers Market spade ceremony, which has the combined excitement of having the almost-completed new leisure centre in the background. Local residents have been waiting for the town centre to become a reality and this is hopefully the first step in positive delivery for the Whitehill & Bordon community, including those who have lived here all their lives and those who have moved to our area based on the promise of facilities. I look forward to seeing the job opportunities that the Makers Market will bring to Whitehill & Bordon.”

Cllr Richard Millard, Leader of East Hampshire District Council, said:

“This is another great step forward towards the delivery of a vibrant town centre town centre in Whitehill & Bordon that will offer something for everyone. Following this, in a few weeks’ time, will be the opening of the new leisure centre, so there is no let-up in the incredible pace of delivery. It shows that despite the pandemic we are still forging ahead with our plans to make Whitehill & Bordon a green, healthy and connected town.”

Hampshire County Council also welcomed the news, with its Leader, Councillor Keith Mans, commenting:

“I am sure that the Makers Market will become a fundamental element in  Whitehill and Bordon’s regeneration, contributing greatly to the creation of a vibrant and dynamic community. We are proud to be playing a part in the area’s regeneration – delivering vital infrastructure including the Whitehill and Bordon Relief Road and, now under construction, a new section of shared use footway and cycleway, as well as the new, sustainable secondary school – Oakmoor – and innovative Future Skills Centre.” 

WBRC and Partners break ground at new Makers Market in Whitehill & Bordon