Bedford attracts more people!
Bedford town; over 1.2m visitors in May 2015
Bedford is attracting more visitors,
independent shops and investors than ever before, according to
recent figures. The wide array of shops, cafes, restaurants and
leisure facilities Bedford has to offer are proving a hit with
visitors and shoppers as footfall figures continue to grow. Figures
taken in May 2014 and May 2015 show a 9% increase in footfall
figures in the town, bringing the total number recorded within
Bedford town centre in May 2015 alone to a staggering 1.2m.
Shop vacancy figures for Bedford Borough
Council’s retail units reflect this increased interest in the town,
with just 5% currently empty; some of the lowest figures ever seen.
The challenging economic conditions in past years have combined
with trends towards out-of-town and internet shopping to threaten
the UK high streets. Yet, these increased footfall and low shop
vacancy rates show that Bedford remains a hot spot for
Independents, shoppers and investors alike.
Bedford’s independent retail base is something
the town can be particularly proud of; showing that the originality
of vendors within the town is both alive and well and the strong
sense of community spirit they encourage continues. On average, it
is estimated that only 43.7% of retailers within towns in the East
of England are independent. However, against this figure, Bedford’s
independent retail base totalled 51%; reflecting the unique
Exciting new shops have opened in Bedford town
centre, showing that independent retailers are continuing to invest
in the town. Bespoke traders such as Seventh Heaven, Gallones,
Herd, Lost and Found, Smoke Shack, George James Bridal boutique and
Pride Kitchens have all set up shop in Bedford town centre within
the past six months, bringing the total number of independent
businesses to 325.
The Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson
said, “Bedford is bucking national trends with more people coming
to the town centre than in previous years. A vibrant mix of
independent shops, well known chains and an array of high quality
cafes and restaurants are all helping to attract shoppers.
Meanwhile, the free Council parking available on both Saturdays and
Sundays gives people even more reason to choose to visit and enjoy
the town centre.
This is an exciting time for Bedford, with
ever-increasing shopping and entertainment opportunities on the
horizon. With the newly completed bus station, award-winning car
parks and exciting riverside regeneration, there is a lot to look
forward to for residents and visitors alike.”