RENT-free pop-up shops and bulk purchasing for companies are on the list of plans ahead after the Andover Business Improvement District (BID) was voted through.

BID bosses are urging businesses to come together under the initiative which will start up in April 2019, with all business holders within the boundary area due to pay a compulsory levy into the scheme.

The BID faced vocal opposition in the lead-up to the voting period with the launch of a ‘No’ campaign, but the ‘Yes’ camp scraped through with a 51.1 per cent majority.

Lisa Armstrong, chairman of Andover BID steering group said: “We now look forward to getting to work on delivering the projects and initiatives outlined in the business prospectus. This is very positive news that will build on the successful initiatives already underway or at discussion stages.

“It puts real power in the hands of businesses and we have worked with businesses all the way along this process and are committed to working closely with them going forward to best position Andover town centre for the competitive pressures ahead.”

A BID company is now in the making ahead of the five-year term, which hopes to generate £1 million additional investment to the town centre.

Pop-up shops are one opportunity being co-ordinated by David Mellor Jewellers, which has committed two units to be used rent-free for start-ups.

Andover BID vice chair Kevin Paterson added: “It is important that we as businesses are able to look forward and we are appealing to all those businesses in the BID area no matter how they may have voted in the ballot to get involved to ensure the success of the BID in ultimately driving footfall and spend which will be to all our benefits.”

The independent BID company will be made up of 12 voluntary board directors of levy-paying business representatives, while non-levy paying members can be co-opted depending on the company’s needs.

Those levy-paying businesses not willing to join the board can register an interest to work with the BID manager as part of an advisory group.

Anyone interested to learn more about becoming a director or member of the advisory groupshould email