Test Valley Borough Council’s (TVBC) cabinet have approved plans which will see hundreds of thousands spent on community projects.

The cabinet approved proposals that will see over half a million pounds of funding spent on projects across the north of the borough, including events in Andover Town Centre, funding for social distancing in Stockbridge, and the construction of new public buildings in Monxton and Abbotts Ann.

The plans were passed by the cabinet, with the Andover and Stockbridge proposals approved immediately. The building plans will now be sent to TVBC’s Full Council for a final sign-off.

Councillors met at the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, August 18, in order to consider two main items on the agenda.

The first was allocating money from the Welcome Back Fund, where councils across England receive a share of £56 million from the European Regional Development Fund in order to help their areas recover after the Covid pandemic, especially by drawing people back to high streets.

In total, TVBC has received £112,403 of funding from central government. Over half of this is to be spent in Andover, with £62,403 to be spent on “an extended programme of diverse cultural events and activities”.

This money will be used by TVBC, Andover BID, the Chantry Centre and the Lights to put on a series of as-yet undecided events in the high street, which is currently under preparation.

Up to £20,000 will also be spent in Stockbridge, where interim measures to promote social distancing in the high street to be extended. If not all of the money is spent, the rest will be reallocated to Andover or Romsey projects.

Following these proposals being approved, discussion then turned to the use of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funds, which is a levy charged on developers when they undertake projects in an area.

Seven projects were under consideration, of which two are in the north of the borough. One of these was the construction of a new village hall in Monxton, which will replace the current “dilapidated” hall.

As previously reported, the new hall is planned to be slightly larger than the original, and able to be reconfigured to suit a range of events, with the hall space divided up by folding doors. Toilets and a kitchen will support activities, while the whole building will be wheelchair accessible.

It received planning permission in October, and will now receive £345,000 from TVBC to contribute to building costs.

Meanwhile, £250,000 has been approved for the release of a new community clubhouse and multi-use games area following an application for Abbotts Ann Parish Council.

The new proposal will “improve the formal recreation offer” in the village and is described as “a top priority for the local community.”

While councillors approved the funding, it will only be released if the parish council can find a further £325,000 by December 31 2023.

In addition to the north of the borough projects, a number of schemes were also approved for the south of the borough, including a new sports pavilion at Broughton Playing Field and a new community clubhouse at the Trojans Sports Club.