BISHOP’S Waltham has been named Hampshire and Isle of Wight Village of the Year 2019.

At a countywide award ceremony in late September, Bishop’s Waltham were presented with the coveted title.

Organised by the Hampshire Association of Local Councils, the awards encourage and promote local communities.

Dawn Hamblet, chief executive of the Hampshire Association of Local Councils, presented the award to the Chairman of the Parish Council, Terry Wilson and the chairman of the Town Team, Robin Shepherd.

She said: “What had impressed the judges above all is the the large number of community groups and hundreds of volunteers who make the village vibrant and a place for all”.

Bishop’s Waltham’s submission was jointly prepared by the parish council and the town team. This partnership approach was remarked on by the judges as an excellent example of team work in building a strong community.

They highlighted the way in which the village strives to be a hub for the surrounding settlements, the welcoming nature of the High Street, the number of community events each year and the engagement of residents in preparing the development plan for new housing in their remarks about why Bishop’s Waltham had won the award.

Robin Shepherd, chairman of the town team, said: “This award is well deserved recognition for the hard work and dedication of the hundreds of volunteers and the numerous community organisations that exist in Bishop’s Waltham who work to make it such a great place to live”.

Terry Wilson, chairman of the parish council, said: “Those of us lucky enough to live in Bishop’s Waltham know what a great place it is. Winning this award will help us to spread this message across Hampshire and hopefully beyond and encourage more visitors to come and enjoy our village.”

The parish council and the town team will jointly discuss the best way to spread the news about this award and to make sure winning it brings benefit to Bishop’s Waltham.

Meon Valley MP Sir George Hollingbery said: "This accolade is very well deserved indeed and thanks must go to all those people who are so active in making Bishop’s Waltham a great place to live and one that is able to embrace change and expansion, but still keep such a good community spirit.

“When I visit, I am always impressed with its friendliness and the range of services and shops it has in the centre, plus the sheer number of events that take place over the year. When high street retailers and community events are under pressure, it’s nice to see the support local people give to them every year.”