town projects - progress on the work that flowed from the healthcheck the latest report is here

Christmas in Whitchurch featured in the June and September editions of the SE Rural Towns Newsletter

The Projects were formed as a result of the Healthcheck team's activities when a number of areas of Whitchurch were identified as being in need of improvement. Those projects have been added to by the enthusiasts in the teams who are keen to get things happening in Whitchurch.

The Healthcheck & Town Action Plan Report is here, this gives the background and more detail on the projects

If you have any comments or questions about the Project Teams, please contact directly them using the links

The Project Teams
Business Development details of and background to the project are here
with Stewart Parrington and John Buckley supported by Business Link Wessex (BLWx), Enterprise First, Drewett Neate, Hampshire CC Economic Development Office, Basingstoke & Dean BC and members of the newly formed Testbourne Busine
ss Club (TBC). A focussed programme is being planned to help retail, start up and especially Micro businesses in Whitchurch and the surrounding villages prosper. This is expected to include locally delivered training facilities and if matched funding can be secured, a bid to the SEEDA Rural Towns Programme Fund during 2006 for the establishment of a serviced office facility in the Town.

Meantime, thanks to support from BLWx, we have bi-monthly (Tuesdays) one hour Business Advice Clinics underway at the Town Hall. BLWx has also launched the evening Testbourne Business Club � which meets every alternate 1st Wednesday in the month.

Anyone wanting further information on the project or who wishes to contribute their time or ideas is invited to contact

Phil Cooper and John Buckley

The Group's aims are to improve communication for Whitchurch residents, including providing channels for Town Action Plan group activities, both within the association and with local residents and other bodies, and to provide technical and design guidance for both print and electronic publications

Progress to date:

  This website
A mock up of the newsletter
Early draft hardcopy material which embodies the "corporate image"
Demonstrations of the above to the Town Council resulting in its agreement to support the website and newsletter and an agreement to ultimately incorporate The Eye in the newsletter
  Early draft hardcopy material which embodies the "corporate image"

Next steps:

  Building up the website by getting contributions to all pages, prior to the constitution of the "Town Association"
Producing the first copy of the newsletter, again, prior to the constitution of the the association
Having website and newsletter available at the drop in sessions and association launch

If you have any comments or questions on the website, please contact , or about the newsletter

Community Bus

The Community bus is now succesfully operating, its performance is reguarly reviewed

Information Technology & Internet Access details of and background to the project are here
 with Linda Cowley and Phil Cooper

A dedicated facility within the Town, for the people and businesses in Whitchurch and the surrounding villages is the planned outcome for this Healthcheck Project.

The proposal is that part of the new library building part of the new Community Centre (expected to be completed by the end of 2006) will be purpose equipped to allow not only internet access but also enable individuals to take part in PC based self directed (self paced) training courses.

The project is in its early stages and anyone interested in contributing to the thinking is invited to contact

Local History "Museum" details of and background to the project are here
 with Tony Corbin and Alison Wall supported by the Whitchurch History Society

A meeting was held earlier this year to discuss best way forward. It was decided to wait until it was confirmed Library was definitely being moved to new Community Centre.
There is funding for display cabinets and other projects available. This group will meet in the near future and we will have a much clearer picture of what we can achieve. The initial plan was to have 6-12 monthly revolving displays of local artists/history society 'photos etc.

One Stop Shop
 with Liz Dermody

Town Gateways details of and background to the project are here
with Tony Corbin, Susan Flawith, Chris Setters and Harriet Titcomb supported by John Wall and Jamie Daly (B&DBC)

The proposed design, in wood, was selected as a result of the Healthcheck Open day at the beginning of the year, however it has been under review by Basingstoke & Deane Council and the County Council with a view to incorporating its main features at key entrances to the town as part of a wider traffic calming initiative.   

There have been concerns raised by the Councils regarding the use of non-standard timber gateway structures (as opposed to the normal metal ones) at the roadside on safety grounds.  However, engineers from the Regeneration and Design Group at Basingstoke & Deane Council have been developing an alternative gateway which incorporates the design themes and shapes of the selected design (i.e. the leaping fish and �wavy� reeds) but printed on a sign plate.  This would be mounted on top of a standard Hampshire County Council timber gateway structure which is considered to be safer should it be struck by a vehicle in an accident.  There have also been issues with the position of the 30 mph sign on the gateway structure which must comply with the relevant regulations for traffic calming features.  This is being considered at present and an updated design is expected to be presented to the Town Council for consideration in October.

The key features of the design are to be seen in the picture to the right. A version of how the signs could look (subject to ongoing discussions) is here

Tourism details of and background to the project are here
 with Harriet Titcomb

The main issues that arose from the Healthcheck Project were that, apart from the Silk Mill, there were no other activities for visitors to the town.  Therefore the Group�s aims are to rectify this by having more tourist activities available and as a consequence bring more revenue to the town.

Progress to date:

The Heritage Trail has been published and distributed to the Silk Mill and the Town Hall.

The Town Guide has been put on hold whilst waiting for the WTA to become a  constituted body.  This is necessary, as we cannot apply for the extra funding needed to produce the Guide.

The photographs have been taken for the Town Guide.

Articles are being written by various local people for the Town Guide.

Next steps:

Address funding shortfall (see above).

Look into other ideas such as cards and postcards.  Any suggestions welcome!

Tourist information leaflet rack situated in the town.

Town Centre details of and background to the project are here
 with Tony Corbin and Keith Watts

Have you noticed the difference yet? Probably not, this is a long term project requiring the injection of grant monies to help make a real difference to the appearance of the Town Centre and adjoining streets.

The Healthcheck consultations revealed concerns amongst a number of residents that the Town centre appeared drab, some buildings were empty and others were in a poor state of repair.

Already we have seen the new �finger post� signs installed and there are currently a few less empty shops which together with some repainting and general tidying is setting us off in the right direction.

Currently, the Town Association is seeking the support of local businesses related to a planned initiative to make the Streets of Whitchurch a little more festive this Christmas. The outcomes will be announced in the Autumn.

This group is working now to revitalise the town centre - details are here

Transport Management details of and background to the project are here
  Roy Dykes, Chris Setters and John Wall (and Reg Kimpton coopted)

This is a subject that is always sure to provoke some emotional responses amongst Whitchurch residents. These feelings were well and truly evidenced in the Healthcheck surveys, consultations and questionnaires.

Progress, on what behind the scenes is a complex issue, is inevitably so far slow and steady rather than spectacular. The WTA with the Town Council has though received an encouraging response from the Highways Departments of both Borough and County Councils.

A comprehensive HGV traffic count took place in April the results of which will be available in September. An Action Plan will follow expected to involve approaching hauliers and  local businesses to help minimise the number of journeys with �unsuitable for HGV � advisory signage being another avenue to explore.

Our new Town Entry Gateways and the associated traffic calming measures will also help us progress towards what we all want to see namely�much less (and slower) through traffic especially HGVs in the narrow winding streets of Whitchurch.

Design Statement Implementation
 with Steve Hoffman, Graham Burgess and Jean Watts

Young People's Activities details of and background to the project are here
 with Liz Dermody, Keith Watts

There are two main strands to this project that aims to address the issues raised by the younger members of our community related to the lack of local amenities and leisure facilities.

The Youth Suite is at Testbourne is to be refurbished and funding for the project has been agreed in principle. Quotes for the work have now been obtained and commencement of work is dependent upon discussions currently being held with Building regulations staff at County Council.

The other initiative is Whitchurch Youth Project Chill to This initiated by local Councillor Barry Jackman. This has the embryonic Whitchurch Association playing a supporting role, providing a source of volunteers to help with the various activities planned for the Autumn. The group has attracted a good amount of attraction. Helpers are filling in registration forms, awaiting CRB checks and meeting team leaders for informal chats. There will be a regular youth club each Friday night [Parish Hall 7.30-10pm]  which will vary from badminton, basketball, pool and lots of other activities that the youngsters have chosen themselves.

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