The pandemic has been a very difficult time for businesses across the borough and we would like to thank all those businesses who have helped to prevent the spread of COVID-19 locally by following the latest guidance.

As we look ahead to the road out of the latest lockdown, we are committed to continuing our support for businesses to help them adapt. This includes distributing emergency funding support, with over £60 million in grants and rate reliefs delivered since March 2020, and helping businesses with the latest government guidance.

We will be working closely with our town centre partners, including Basingstoke Together BID, The Malls and Festival Place to ensure that when the town centre is able to reopen, shoppers can look forward to a safe and enjoyable experience.

Now more than ever, it is so important to support our local businesses to ensure they are here for years to come and we are pleased to be backing The Gazette’s Love Local campaign.

While we wait for the restrictions to be eased so we can all enjoy our favourite cafés, restaurants and shops, there are still plenty of ways to shop local.

To help small and independent traders make the leap into selling their products online, we have launched a new online marketplace, The Borough Basket. I am pleased to say over 40 local businesses have already signed up and you can support these businesses by visiting

There is no doubt that COVID-19 has changed the way we live our lives and we must do everything we can to respond to changing habits.

Alongside our work to support businesses now, we are taking an active role in planning for the borough’s economic recovery coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring Basingstoke and Deane remains a great place to live and visit for years to come.

Despite the challenges that high streets across the country face, we have lots to be positive about but we need to ensure our town centre offers an exciting shopping, leisure and cultural experience and remains our historic heart for years to come.

Our work with experts to develop an ambitious strategy for the town centre area is perfectly timed and it will be important for us to build upon our key strengths including heritage, our mix of retailers and strong arts and culture offer, while addressing issues such as connectivity, how we incorporate our town centre parks and sustainable travel.

But we cannot do this alone and it is really important that we hear your views of the town centre, how your shopping habits have changed and what you would like to see in the future to help us shape what this area will look like in the future. You can do this by taking part in a short survey at by Friday 19 March 2021.

In the meantime, I would encourage you all to do anything you can to get behind the local businesses that we all know and love to ensure they have a bright future in the borough for years to come.

New website launched

The council has launched a new website showcasing the best of Basingstoke and Deane and providing information for residents, visitors and businesses.

The new Love Basingstoke website – – provides a one-stop-shop with lots information and advice for residents, visitors and those looking to move to the area, including the very best of local heritage and stunning views, culture and events, attractions, food and drink, places to stay and much more.

For those already living in the borough, there is a section of the website dedicated to showcasing communities across Basingstoke and Deane, inspiration for walking and cycling routes, information on local transport and education and details of businesses that are currently open, ideal for those wanting to shop local this Valentine’s Day.

Aiming to ensure Basingstoke and Deane remains high on the list for attracting external investment, it showcases the ambitious development projects under way including the £500 million regeneration of Basing View, a new garden community with up to 3,520 new homes and facilities at Manydown and a planned transformation of Basingstoke Leisure Park.

A key part of the borough’s economic recovery, the new website also includes plenty of support for businesses with information on financial support, tips to grow your business, networking opportunities and information for those looking to relocate to the borough.

More than 50 small and independent businesses in the borough are also getting a chance to sell their products online to residents and those further afield through The Borough Basket, which forms part of the new Love Basingstoke website.

The website will be regularly updated and residents and businesses are being invited to contribute to the content on the website to ensure it continues to highlight everything the borough has to offer.

Leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Cllr Ken Rhatigan said: “Basingstoke and Deane is a great place to live, visit and work and this new website is a great way of showcasing everything we have to offer, from things to see and do to the work we are doing to plan for the future, all in one place.”