A local authority’s work isn’t always smooth sailing but when the wind is with us, we can make incredible differences to people’s lives.
And right now that is what we are seeing in Whitehill & Bordon.
In the seven years since the army left, the town has undergone an incredible transformation at a relentless pace.
Every year brings another fantastic facility and there is still more to come.
I know it’s not easy for residents living in a town undergoing major regeneration.
Disruption and construction can make day-to-day life harder. But it will be worth it in the long run.
Looking back, we can see just how much has been achieved. I have listed a few highlights, but there are many more.
Travel around the town centre has been transformed with the relief road, reducing congestion and pollution.
People can walk or cycle around town on the award-winning green loop of pathways.
New businesses have been nurtured and grown through Signal and BASE.
A secondary school has been built, and young people are getting workplace skills at the Future Skills Centre.
There is a brand-new £10million leisure centre with gym and swimming pool.
And for a treat, residents can head to The Shed, a fresh and versatile new venue.
These are just a few of the impressive facilities built by the regeneration partnership.
And less-tangible benefits, such as the proms and the jubilee celebrations, have brought people together and revived community spirit.
It makes me incredibly proud to see what has been achieved and to think about the pace that these things have been delivered.
I accept that what planners consider breakneck speed might seem somewhat slower for people living through it.
We are truly grateful for how patient and understanding residents have been as the work goes on.
And I would say, keep the faith – things are moving, the town is changing and there’s more to come.
The arrival square, the supermarket and the health hub are all major milestones we are going to deliver.
This success is thanks to an incredible partnership travelling in the same direction with a shared sense of purpose.
Last week I was delighted to meet representatives of all the partner organisations delivering this dramatic transformation to acknowledge the progress.
They include East Hampshire District Council, Hampshire County Council, Whitehill Town Council, Defence Infrastructure Organisation, Enterprise M3 LEP, Homes England, NHS, Abri, Barratt Homes, Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company and the Whitehill & Bordon Community Trust.
A long list, but everyone has had a crucial role.
Without these disparate organisations working together, we could not have achieved half of what we have so far.