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New Look Passageway

HIGH STREET PASSAGEWAY TRANSFORMED BY ARTWORK

As part of the heritage regeneration scheme to revitalise Bedford High Street, a well-known passageway has been transformed from a dark and dingy alley to a bright and inviting pedestrian link between the High Street and the Lurke Street car park area. The transformation has taken place as part of the heritage regeneration scheme to revitalise Bedford High Street, and Mayor Dave Hodgson will unveil the new look passageway at the northern end of High Street, nicknamed ‘Passage 101’ at 3pm, on Friday 27th July.

 

The passageway’s new appearance is a result of Bedford Borough Council commissioning Bedford College HND Fine Art, and 3D Design students, to produce ideas for heritage inspired artwork, to be displayed on its walls. The work forms part of the Bedford High Street’s Townscape Heritage Initiative project, designed to regenerate the High Street and its surrounding areas.

 

‘Passage 101’ has been re-vamped through repairs to the paving, lighting, brickwork, drainage, the installation of CCTV and a deep clean.

 

Bedford College art students presented their decorative ideas to a panel which included Mayor Dave Hodgson, members of the THI’s Partnership Board and Councillor Bagchi, of Castle Ward. After much deliberation, the winning designs by Michelle Crowther were selected.

 

Passage 101’s design taps into Bedford’s local newspaper printing history, featuring news print character blocks arranged on panels within the newly-white walls. 

 

The Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: “The passageway is a well-used link for the town centre, in particular for users of Lurke Street Car Park. I am delighted that it’s been transformed into a much more pleasant walkway thanks to the renovation work and, in particular, the artistic talent involved.

 

The first requirement for us was to give the passageway a thoroughly decent clean and comprehensive repair job.  That’s really changed the feel of it, while the artwork makes it a much more appealing, attractive route to use. The brighter, lighter feel and the CCTV installation will also help tackle the anti-social behaviour which in the past has spoilt the pathway for everyone.

 

It was a real pleasure to sit on the panel to help choose the winning design, and I must congratulate the students who took part for the great array of creativity and talent which was on show. Regenerating the High Street is a key element of our efforts to support a vibrant, thriving town centre, and the transformation of this passageway is another positive step in this direction.”

 

Michelle Crowther, student with winning designs, said: “Passageways, like newspapers, are just fleeting diversions from our lives, and once used, they are often discarded. My design will make the public more aware of the space they are using, while creating a permanent reminder of Bedford’s newspaper printing history.”

 

Richard Lloyd HNC / HND Fine ART Course Lecturer, said: “Without doubt the definitive appeal with live briefs for students is the potential that they present with an actual process, one that creates responsibility and a chance to impact on a real audience. This brief has been challenging for all concerned and given students something very tangible to measure themselves against. The strength of the degree level HND course at Bedford College is the vocational nature of the project briefs and the emphasis we place on first-class student experience”.

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