TWO new shops have officially launched in Andover.

Neighbours The Travelling Cupcake and Lonefairy Jewellery have opened in Waterloo Court.

Both businesses took advantage of Test Valley Borough Council’s pop-up shop initiative in Bridge Street and have now moved to their own permanent locations.

Mayor of Test Valley, Councillor Janet Whiteley, and a crowd of well-wishers helped to welcome the businesses to the town.

The cupcake-making company was one of the first to take advantage of the council’s successful pop-up shop initiative.

Bev Botha, owner of The Travelling Cupcake, said: “The valuable retail exposure that we have gained during our stint in the popup shop encouraged us to take the plunge and commit to a permanent town centre presence.

“Without this taster experience I don’t think we would have considered taking such a step.

“Customers in Andover have been really supportive and the council has provided valuable mentoring to help us through the process.”

Cllr Ian Carr, leader of the council, said: “I was delighted to attend today’s official opening and help The Travelling Cupcake and Lonefairy Jewellery celebrate their achievements.

“It is one of the key aims of the Andover Summit to nurture the growth of small independent businesses in Andover and the council’s pop-up shop initiative is helping to achieve this goal.

“With two pop-up shops now trading in permanent premises in Wa t e r l o o Court and a waiting list of p o t e n t i a l traders keen to gain from a pop-up experience, the scheme is achieving its objective to enrich the retail opportunities available in Andover.

“Waterloo Court is just off the High Street and is home to a number of small, independent businesses which are well worth a visit.”

The official opening ceremony on Wednesday jointly celebrated the opening of both The Travelling Cupcake and Lonefairy Jewellery and saw the council’s economic portfolio holder, Cllr Peter Giddings, present independent retailer grant cheques to both businesses.