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St George’s News - Waterlooville’s Parish Magazine

The Website for St George’s Church, Waterlooville and its Parish Magazine St George’s News

Waterlooville Regeneration

Easter 2024 issue

On Wednesday 21st February, a well attended Local Community Group meeting took place to discuss the plans and progress for the regeneration of Waterlooville Town Centre.

The Regeneration Team has now completed its public consultation and research, by holding community led walking tours to identify issues and obtain feedback, also meetings with businesses, and then the Festival of Ideas which was held in the former “Game” shop in Waterlooville Precinct. The next step will be a “Gallery and Exhibition” event, also at the former “Game” shop running from Thursday 14th to Saturday 16th March, when the Master Plan will be presented to the public and further views and feedback invited.

The Master Plan is important as it is necessary to secure Government funding, to obtain powers for purchase of property, and to get planning permissions. Thereafter Havant Borough Council will hold a public meeting at the end of May to present the final plan and it is envisaged the Local Community Group will reconvene with a meeting to review progress later in 2024.

The vacant shop scheme was an initiative to provide start-up funding for businesses taking on the newly refurbished shops in Wellington Way. Although there were some 30 applicants, only two have progressed to a final stage, as most of the applications were weak propositions without a robust business plan and unable to demonstrate viability - there would not be any purpose in providing finance for a new shop that failed and closed down after a few months of trading. The funding for this scheme is ring-fenced and a relaunch will be taking place with longer time-scales for applicants and help with business planning; already there are a number of much stronger business propositions coming forward.

Peter Harding, Managing Director of the company which owns Wellington Way, gave a progress report on the plans for new shops and residential accommodation at first floor level. Considerable work has taken place mainly to provide access to the residential units and it was emphasised that much more is about to happen and the upgrading of Wellington Way is a long term investment. As other town centre landlords see this investment coming in place it is firmly expected that they will explore  investment to take advantage of the opportunities Waterlooville will have to offer.

In the short term, street dressing by way of a series of banners are to be displayed as a permanent feature setting out the history of the town, identifying people and events, memories of the past and dreams for the future.