A SHOWCASE video starring a well-known presenter was among suggestions to help promote New Milton and bring in more investment.
Laying out a strategy for the forthcoming year, town development manager Suna King told a recent online full town council meeting that the main aim was to present New Milton as ambitious with a “strong sustainable future”.
Mrs King said: “We could have a video with a known presenter to raise our profile and attract investment.
“We can email updates to residents, businesses and partners, as well as regular posts on social media and adverts and flyers.”
It came amid preparations for the upcoming referendum over the town’s emerging Neigh-
bourhood Plan, a set of hyperlocal planning policies aimed at giving residents a greater influence on development in the area.
New Milton’s has been on the drawing board since 2016 and includes a vision by 2036 of a regenerated town centre, new cultural hub in place of the Memorial Centre, affordable housing for younger people, and charging stations for electric vehicles.
Mrs King stressed the importance of driving support and engagement for the plan to ensure a large amount of residents vote, “whichever way they want”.
Welcoming the strategy, mayor Cllr Alvin Reid said: “It’s really important that we promote the Neighbourhood Plan as a way of helping New Milton develop various projects.”
Cllr Steve Clarke added: “The video would be vital as it could encourage more businesses to come and use the town.”
The importance of involving New Milton’s “next generation” in public engagement over its future was highlighted, with calls to involve youngsters from Arnewood School’s sixth form and Brockenhurst College.
Cllr Steve Davies said: “The Neighbourhood Plan is about far more than the development of the town – it’s the development of the community.
“Bring the young people in and they can really drive this forward long after we’ve gone.”
Cllr Valya Schooling said that to bring about “real change”, more support was needed from Hampshire County Council.
“We need to make sure that at county level they start to love New Milton because, from my experience, it’s been just Lymington, Lymington, Lymington,” Cllr Schooling said.
“New Milton was always at the bottom of the pile. A higher level of support needs to happen and we need to know it will happen to get all the promotion we need.”