Delivery of the new town centre for Whitehill & Bordon took major strides forward this week, when the development plans were granted planning consent and the first major occupiers and operators were confirmed.
The town centre is expected to open in stages between late Autumn 2020 and Easter 2021. The approved plans include a six-screen cinema, an indoor market and pop-up stalls, an arts and heritage centre, offices, around 20 shops and restaurants, a new food store and 170 residential units. There will also be up to 1,085 car parking spaces, and over 7,000 square meters of public open space areas, including a town park, upper and lower town squares and an arrival square. It follows the opening of the Whitehill and Bordon relief road in January.
Having secured planning approval, by East Hampshire District Council, the Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company is pleased to reveal some of the operators who will be moving into the new town centre:
The cinema, which will be located on the site of the former Sergeants' Mess, will be operated by The Big Picture, and will also feature an outdoor screen for summer events. The Big Picture has experience of managing major cinema projects across the UK and Europe and will be operating the Whitehill & Bordon cinema under an independent brand name.
The Makers Market
At the heart of the town centre will be Makers Market, Street Food Scene and Themed Outdoor Markets, operated by Market Asset Management, which already runs a number of indoor markets throughout the UK, including Darlington, Doncaster, Tottenham and Watford. Makers Market will provide a vibrant, alternative retail, business and food offering that is complementary to the rest of the town centre, with entertainment, street food and covered market facilities.
A new business hub
Within the Makers Market building will be a new managed area for start-up businesses. The new business hub will offer a range of spaces for small business owners, including individual offices, co-working areas, rentable meeting rooms and a roof-top bar. The business hub will be operated by SiGNAL and Oxford Innovation, which already successfully runs BASE Bordon innovation centre and has established a business community for local start-ups.
Work has already started on the new leisure centre, which will be operated by Everyone Active on behalf of East Hampshire District Council.
Plans for the new health hub are in the latter design stages, and are expected to be finalised by the summer, with a view to opening at the same time as the town centre.
James Child, project lead at Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company, said: “The delivery of a high quality new town centre will be a huge landmark for the regeneration of Whitehill & Bordon. It will bring new jobs and leisure options to the area and will become the heartbeat of the town.
“It is no secret that towns and cities throughout the country have been impacted by a challenging retail environment and we have worked hard with East Hampshire District Council to create a town centre masterplan that offers something different. To be able to bring a six-screen cinema and arts centre to the area, as well as space for small businesses and local retailers in the heart of the town centre is extremely exciting. They will sit alongside larger national retailers, independent and big brand restaurants and a vibrant public realm that will host community led events throughout the year.”
Cllr Ferris Cowper, EHDC’s Portfolio Holder for Whitehill & Bordon, said: “This is wonderful news and something our residents will be very excited to hear.
“The town centre will be a spectacular development at the heart of the town’s regeneration. It will be a place where people can meet for work or for leisure, a place to shop, to walk, to grab a bite to eat or to catch a film or a show.
“There has been a lot of hard work to get us to this point and there’s more to come – but soon people will be able to see all this come to reality for themselves and that is what is so exciting for me.”