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Local MP joins celebration of Basingstoke landmark

Member of Parliament for Basingstoke Maria Miller joined local people, former employees and businesses at a reception to mark the creation of a special exhibition celebrating town landmark the White Building.

The exhibition, which is now open at the Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery in Market Place, Basingstoke celebrates the 80th birthday of the White Building, formerly a major UK hub for American pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly. It tells the building’s story from its initial build, use, dereliction and renovation.

Organised by housing association VIVID and hosted by Mike Shepherd, VIVID Director of New Business and Development, the reception included development partners Barratt Homes, specialist contractor FSL, local history groups and members of the public who contributed their stories.

The iconic Art Deco building is being lovingly restored as 96 stylish apartments retaining many of the original features. It stands at the heart of the Chapel Gate housing development, which provides 618 homes including 248 affordable homes for rent and shared ownership.

Mike Shepherd said: “We’re delighted to be able to restore this iconic building and bring it back to life as a fantastic place to live for the benefit of the people of Basingstoke. There are so many local people with memories of the building and it’s great to understand how the building has forged a real connection with the community.”

Admission to the exhibition is free and runs until 28 September. It’s already drawing around 100 visitors a day to view images from across the years and listen to oral histories and memories told by current and former members of the community.

We’re delighted to be able to restore this iconic building