Waterlooville town centre: Residents share their views on what is needed to regenerate the town

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Waterlooville residents have been sharing their views over the best way to regenerate the town.

Meon Valley MP Flick Drummond, whose constituency includes part of the town, hosted a forum in Berewood Primary School to explore how to best regenerate Waterlooville town centre.

It comes following the appointment of a Waterlooville Regeneration officer Rachel Salway by Havant Borough Council, with the MP joined by council leader Alex Rennie and council chief executive Steve Jorden also at the meeting.

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Those at the forum heard the next steps to boost the town will be to develop a masterplan of a realistic vision for the future role and function of the town centre. This will help attract developers and help secure investment from government.

The town centre is in need of regenerationThe town centre is in need of regeneration
The town centre is in need of regeneration

However, the meeting was told Waterlooville has a shop vacancy rate of 20 per cent with 33 vacant units - half of which are in Wellington Way – empty. The meeting also heard that there is limited public ownership in the town centre with many properties owned by institutional investors. There is also limited demand from brand retailers and leisure operators within Waterlooville and it has been hit hard by the decline in the high street.

The MP said: “Positive measures like the installation of CCTV to tackle anti-social behaviour, a focus on reducing vacancy rates and work to incentivise business start-up with small grants will help in the short term.

“But it is clear there is much work to do on the broader longer-term work. I look forward to helping develop the masterplan in partnership with the council, residents and businesses.

“We will have another forum next year to gauge progress.”