THE leader of the council and the town’s MP have both sung Andover’s praises.

Kit Malthouse said “we have much to be proud of” and Cllr Phil North added that “Andover is a town on the rise”.

It comes as The Advertiser launches the Andover Appreciation Campaign this week.

Speaking to this newspaper, Mr Malthouse said: “Andover is set on the River Anton and surrounded by stunning Hampshire countryside including a vast swathe of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

“It is a superb town in which to live and work as it enjoys excellent rail and road links, high levels of employment, innovative and world leading businesses, ambitious schools, interesting small independent shops, restaurants and cafes and safe neighbourhoods with low crime.

“The last 18 months has also shown Andover at its very best as we looked out for our friends and families, neighbours and those who just needed an extra helping hand.

“We have much to be proud of although this doesn’t happen by accident, and is down to the commitment of generations of Andoverians to their town. Long may it continue.”

Both he and Cllr North cited the council’s regeneration plans as exciting developments for Andover of tomorrow.

The council leader added: “Despite what a downbeat clickbait website has previously tried to imply, Andover is a fantastic place to live.

“It’s full of trees, open spaces and verge-side wildflowers. It’s got Anton Lakes, Rooksbury Mill and Ladies Walk. The River Anton, Charlton Lakes and easy access to the countryside.

“A brand-new leisure centre, parkrun and an abundance of sports facilities. Fantastic local schools and a college at the top if its game.

“Jobs and good quality places to live. It’s got stunning buildings like the Guildhall, St Mary’s Church and Town Mills. Great local independent businesses.

“Talk to people who have moved here and they rave about Andover.

“But it’s not just about its physical assets and the fact everything is relatively close together with very little rush hour traffic.

“It’s also about the close knit community, with the town boasting hundreds of different clubs and societies - and as we saw through Covid, the willingness to help each other. Be that Andover Self-Isolation helpers or the wonderful vaccine volunteers. Andover is a town on the rise.”