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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > Archived News > May 2010 > Lottery Boost for Bedford

Lottery Boost for Bedford High Street

LOTTERY BOOST FOR HIGH STREET REGENERATION SCHEME

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded Bedford Borough Council a first round pass towards securing a grant of £897,100, for the restoration and regeneration of Bedford High Street.

The street, dating back to late Saxon and Medieval times is made up of mainly 18th and 19th-century buildings that have been slowly declining. HLF’s investment will encourage better shop front/advertisement design and the use of currently vacant upper floors, restore historically significant buildings and reinstate lost architectural detail.

The project is one of eleven in town centres across the UK that is to receive a much-needed boost totalling £14m from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The earmarked money will help fund vital community regeneration schemes in these currently neglected areas, of which Bedford’s conservation area has been deemed ‘at risk’ by English Heritage.

This investment is part of the HLF’s Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) which has invested over £250m since 1998 into regenerating towns that have suffered serious social and economic decline.

The Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: “Regenerating the High Street is a key element of our plans to create a more vibrant, thriving town centre. We are therefore delighted to have been awarded a first round pass by the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop a further funding bid as we seek to secure the £900,000 grant funding that will do so much to revitalise this historic part of our town centre.  The extra money from the lottery fund will help us to restore the historic character of the High Street, while bringing further training opportunities and jobs to borough residents. We want to bring more life and vitality to the High Street and enhance it as an attractive, bustling street to be enjoyed by all. This major financial boost is a significant step towards achieving this.”

The scheme features 48 priority buildings along both sides of the High Street.

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF East of England, said: “The Heritage Lottery Fund is proud to be playing a key role in helping to revitalise these once thriving towns. The benefits are far reaching. This investment will help support local authorities and residents to transform their towns, making essential improvements and repairs that will encourage local businesses and visitors back into these historically vibrant areas.”

Regenerating Bedford High Street will unlock the potential of the historic town centre to re-establish the town’s primacy in the region.

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