Bedford Townscape Heritage Initiative
Bedford High Street's 'THI' Programme
Bedford High Street has seen the fruits of significant
investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Bedford Borough Council
and Bedford BID, with the restoration of 16 properties on
High Street, as part of the HLF's nationwide Townscape Heritage
Initiative ('THI'). The grant and public funding amounted to a
total of £1.95 million and generated private sector contributions
from landlords and owners of the businesses, bringing the
total investment amount to over £5m.
Members of the public are invited to come and join us to
celebrate completion of the project between 3 - 4pm on Wednesday 7 December, in the
Barbican Room of The Higgins Museum, Castle Lane. Stop by for
a tea or coffee and find out more about the project and the works
that have taken place.
Objectives of Bedford High Street THI
The main aim is to ensure the long term preservation
of the historic Bedford High Street area. It focuses on
‘whole building’ schemes, with work on properties to include:
- Restoration of traditional shopfronts
- Reinstatement of lost architectural details
- Bringing upper floors back into productive use
16 properties have been grant funded, with significant
contributions from landlords and businesses, to bring the
project to completion.
Learning, Education and Training
The THI project delivered an extensive learning, education
and training programme alongside the physical building works.
This will provide a legacy of increased heritage skills,
historic knowledge and appreciation in the local area. The
programme included heritage interpretation, events, educational and
community activities, as well as heritage construction and
maintenance skills for owners, tenants, contractors, students and
the general public and a new NVQ Heritage Construction Skills
course, now available at Bedford College.
Complimentary physical works on High Street, funded by the
Council alone, include improvements to Luddington’s
Passage (between 49 – 51 High Street) and 'Passage
101', between 99 – 101 High Street. The artwork in both
passageways was conceived and realised by Bedford College HND
Fine Art student, Michelle Crowther.
The Council is also looking into detrafficking options on
High Street, as part of a longer term strategy to improve
the pedestrian environment.
Funding was available
through grants offered to landlords and tenants along High
Street. The grant rates were set at 70% for repairs and 80%
for reinstatement works. Rates for reuse of vacant floor
space varied, depending on the value of the property once its empty
space had been brought back into viable economic use. There was a
maximum grant cap of £200,000 per property.
Looking for more information?
Information on the Council's HLF
Application, including maps of the eligible properties, are
available to view on our
THI Updates page.
For background information on the
project visit our High
Street Renaissance page and for details of
events, educational resources and Newsletters visit our
Street - Notice Board page.
If you would like any further
information on Bedford High Street THI, please contact the THI
Project Manager, Nancy Falloon (01234) 276258, email: firstname.lastname@example.org