High Street Success
Celebrating a Major High Street Success
There was a celebratory event this
month to mark the completion of the ‘Townscape Heritage Initiative’
(THI) Project. The project launched in September 2011 with an aim
to offer grants to improve traditional properties that were either
derelict, in poor repair and/or vacant.
The project has made vast
improvements to 16 properties in total within the High Street and
St Paul’s Square area and this, along with town centre events, has
helped to further increased footfall figures; with this year’s
October numbers being the highest for 6 years.
The project, led by Bedford Borough
Council, delivered £5m of investment into heritage buildings and
initiatives in the High Street area, helping transform its
future. Using funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Bedford
Borough Council and BedfordBID, the project levered £3m of private
sector investment from property owners and tenants to refurbish 16
properties; creating new shopfronts, 36 new homes and bringing
33,000 sq ft of vacant space back into use, bringing a new vibrancy
to the area.
The Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson,
said: “The ‘before and after’ photos tell the story of what a
dramatic difference this project has made to Bedford High Street.
The funding from the partners involved has in turn levered in
millions of pounds of external investment in the High Street,
transforming a long list of properties for the better. Every
project has enhanced and in some cases revealed the rich heritage
of the High Street, while also helping to bring new life back to
some previously long-derelict properties. The project has
really improved the look and feel of the High Street, while the
works have made another major contribution to our vision of a town
centre which is attractive in its own right, for retail and also
A new public square will open next year with
opportunity for more events and activities as a key hub within our
major Riverside North regeneration scheme that will include a new
100 bedroom Premier Inn hotel, a new Vue cinema, new riverside
restaurants and around 50 apartments.
If you would like more details on the THI
project’s accomplishments visit http://www.bedford.gov.uk/ (and
search for ‘THI’).