A Hampshire social housing provider has promised to build more affordable homes in the county.

And the announcement follows the merger of Aster Communities which has offices in Romsey and Andover, with Dorset-based Synergy Housing.

Aster Communities, which replaced Testway Housing in February when it merged with two other social housing providers, says the latest changes will allow the company to build around 1,500 new affordable homes across seven counties in south-west and central-southern England during the next three years.

Chief executive of the enlarged group, Bjorn Howard, said the merger between Aster and Synergy meant the new group would be “bold and brave” where it could make what he described as a “positive difference” to local communities.

Mr Howard added: “By running a financially strong and growing business we can focus on putting customers at the heart of everything we do.”