Hampshire Cultural Trust’s plans to redevelop the Allen Gallery and garden in Alton have been described as a “well developed scheme” by East Hampshire District Council.

The council has allocated £450,000 of Community Infrastructure Levy money raised from house builders towards the £1,663,000 cost.

It said: “The facilities are not fit for purpose and do not meet the diverse needs of the growing local population.

"Capital works are needed to create flexible and accessible community spaces and enable the venue to sustain itself into the future: through its café and retail offer, through environmental improvements to the fabric of the building, and as a key component of wider initiatives which bring more people into Alton.”