ANDOVER’S new £2.9 million bus depot is going to cost significantly more than originally expected – largely as a result of delays and an expansion in scope of the project.

Hampshire County Council boss Ken Thornber was told that the project needed £500,000 more than originally anticipated. An additional £200,000 is needed as a result of legal delays while £300,000 more capital has been earmarked to extend the scope of the station in order to provide the community with a viable project.

In his report Hampshire County Council’s transport strategy manager Andrew Wilson, said: “The new bus station will create a much improved gateway to the town centre and contribute to the regeneration of the area by improving pedestrian areas between the town centre and Andover College, the Lights and Andover Leisure Centre.

“The new cafe will also create an area where people wil spend time rather than simply pass through .

“This will help to attract more people into the town centre shopping area and will help boost trade for the businesses within the Chantry Centre.”

Finance for the bus station will come from housing developer contributions resulting from Andover’s expansion.

Work is expected to begin in March and will continue for 52 weeks.